Foster Systems


Foster Systems

See the new HowTo tab now available on the main menu. This tab directs you to useful capabilities that may assist you in planning and implementing your automated observatory. Plus, our good friend and customer, Frank Cruz, has recorded a very complete video of operations at his ExploraDome observatory using our Dome Controller and other AstroMC products. This video is most instructive as you are planning your observatory automation project. It's about 25 minutes on our new Foster Systems YouTube Channel. See it here: AstroMC Tutorial Video

AstroAlert Version 3 is now available. By far the most complete and cost effective solution for your weather monitoring needs. ASCOM compliant, the unit is fully compatible with ACP, ACP Scheduler, CCD Commander, and CCD Autopilot. It also produces the common one-line file format for distribution locally or over a local network. Seamless compatibility with AstroMC Controllers and AstroGraph.

And now,
ScopeShutter telescope aperture cover is available on limited release. Listed under Accessories, this device is the result of 3 years of prototypes and engineering development models. We are gearing up production now, so supplies are limited for now. The ScopeShutter controller supports 4 aperture covers, so you'll be able to cover your main scope and all the piggybacks. It comes with an ASCOM compliant driver which operates as a standalone and (soon) will integrate with our Dashboard in the same manner as RoboFocus Power. You can reach each shutter via VB scripts. No matter how you plan to control a shutter, whether manually or via script, ScopeShutter will respond.


When undertaking the automation of your observatory, there is more to plan than just the building or dome. Among the key considerations are:

· What is the reliability of my power? Can I afford to leave the roof/shutter open until power is restored?
· What is the capacity (amps) of my power supply? Should I consider a single source or multiple plug-in adapters?
· How will I detect deteriorating weather conditions? What actions do I need to take if conditions are Unsafe?
· Will my roof damage my telescope if not in the Park Position? How do I prevent that?
· How do I detect dewing/fogging conditions. How do I manage my dew heaters?

The best strategy to address these issues is to plan out the "end state" of your automation project including hardware, wiring and software. Then implement the pieces in order. It sounds simple enough, but in any System Level integration, having a plan and sticking to it, will lead to success.

At Foster Systems, we're astronomers who have designed the Astro
MC line of observatory automation equipment and software. All our products are engineered for the specific needs of your automation project.

Whether it's one of our roof/dome controllers or our line of add-ons such as the AstroAlert weather monitor, the new AtPark Monitor integration system, or the soon-to-be released ScopeShutter aperture cover, the Astro
MC product family makes life easy for the serious observer.

The AstroMC Hub is available in Serial or USB capable packages as well as a Serial board level product, all attractively priced. Among the many capabilities are:

·Remote Roll-off-Roof Control
·Remote Dome Rotation and Shutter Control
·Remote Power Control
·Automatic Fogging Control
·Prime Power Safety Monitor
·Scope AtPark Monitor
·Text Messaging and Email Alerts
·ScopeShutter Remote Aperture Dust/Pollen Cover— Now available!
·AstroAlert weather monitor
·AstroGraph weather trend graphing and logging software
·ASCOM Compliant with Open Integration
·Compatible with ACP Scheduler, ACP, CCD Commander, CCD Autopilot, TheSky6/X

If you can't be there, Astro
MC is your integration and observatory safety choice.

AstroMC automation... Elegant Automation for Serious Astronomers


Roof Controller Image

Roof Controller
4 different styles of roll off, Hub, S/W

Dome Controller Image

Dome Controller
ExploraDome, DDW, Custom, Hub, S/W

Shutter Controller Image

Shutter Controller
Connects wirelessly to our Dome Controller

AstroAlert Image

Weather Monitor

AtPark Plus Image

AtPark Plus
Sensor with 3 sensor combiner

ScopeShutter Plus Image

ScopeShutter Plus
Actuator plus controller

SmartSwitch Image

Control 6 Low Voltage components

CPS power Image

CPS power
High voltage power control

AstroGraph Image

Graph your weather conditions over time

Extra Help Image

Extra Help
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