Astro Systeme Austria
Available in the US from
Oceanside Photo and Telescope
918 Mission Ave., Oceanside, CA 92054
It may look like just another high-quality German equatorial mount from the outside, but a peak inside Astro Systeme Austria’s DDM85 (U.S. price: about $18,000) is like glimpsing the future. DDM stands for direct-drive mount. There are no gears — the mount’s axes themselves are an integral part of the drive motors. In addition to doing away with common problems such as periodic error associated with worm-gear drives, a direct-drive mount can immediately correct unpredictable tracking errors caused by, say, wind gusts. Direct-drive systems are found in some of today’s most advanced professional telescopes, but this is the first time one is being offered in a commercial mount. The DDM85 can carry 65 kilograms (140 pounds) of equipment, and the company is planning to introduce smaller and larger versions in the near future.
SkyandTelescope.com's New Product Showcase is a reader service featuring innovative equipment and software of interest to amateur astronomers. The descriptions are based largely on information supplied by the manufacturers or distributors. Sky & Telescope assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of vendors statements. For further information contact the manufacturer or distributor. Announcements should be sent to nps@SkyandTelescope.com. Not all announcements will be listed.