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Canary Islands Double Station Meteor Project (CILBO)



In collaboration with Felix Bettonvil, of the Astronomical Institute, Utrecht University and the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy ASTRON, and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC ), we are in the process of setting up and testing a  permanent double station meteor observatory on the Canary Islands, Spain. One camera will be based at ESA's Optical Ground Station (OGS) on Tenerife and the other at the Dutch Open Telescope (DOT) on La Palma. In May 2007 the first test runs of the system were carried out. Currently, we are testing our setup under real-sky conditions.



CILBO - first science results

May 2012

We presented the first science results of our meteor camera setup at the Asteroids, Comets, Meteors conference 2011 in Niigata, Japan. We have analyzed the light curves of the Geminids - see here: The image at the right shows a 3-D plot of the orbits as determined from the two cameras. The typical astrometric accuracy of the data is better than 1 arcminute.

The plot shows all meteors marked as Geminids by our detection software MetRec (Molau 1999). The blue line is the orbit of the Earth. Note that there is one obvious non-Geminid there...


CILBO - first double station meteor

13 Dec 2011

Since a few years, we have been working on setting up a double-station meteor system on the Canary Islands, called CILBO. The idea is to have a double-station meteor camera system to determine meteor orbits and their chemical composition from a good astronomical observing site over at least two years. We have finally managed to set up the first two cameras for this. At the time of writing this text, Hans Smit and Cornelis (Kees) van der Luijt of the Meteor Research Group of RSSD/ESA are on La Palma, Spain, setting up one of the camera stations. The first double-station meteor is shown in the following image - this is a screen shot of the computer in Detlef's living room, showing the screen of the La Palma system on the left, the screen of the Tenerife system on the right. The same meteor was detected by the two systems independently. From these data, the precise trajectory and orbit of the meteor can be computed.


29 Apr 2011

Since several weeks we have been testing our setup for CILBO. A plot showing the weather information of 27 Apr 2011 is shown here... 


CILBO sees first light

11 Mar 2011

The last year we didn't make as much progress as foreseen with our 'CILBO' project, which has the aim of installing a double-station camera system on the Canary Islands. A lot of time was spent on in-door testing and software optimisation. Now, however, there is visible progress - before the installations go to the Canarys, we test one setup under real-sky conditions in the Netherlands. We have set up this system and it automatically obtained data during the night, albeit still with a non-intensified camera (just in case...). Unfortunately it was cloudy, but it seems that the system is working.

The CILBO hut to the left, next to The Koschny Observatory.   

The CILBO hut next to The Koschny Observatory - The CILBO hut close-up - The computer set up in the operating room of The Koschny Observatory.

Additional information

 CIDStaMP Baseline
 Figure 1: The baseline between ESA's OGS on Tenerife and the Dutch Open Telescope (DOT) on La Palma is approximately 143 km. The line joining the two stations runs almost exactly North-West - South-East.

For the tests in 2007, ICC5 and LCC3 were used - see the camera section for more details. Unfortunately, something was wrong with the gain control of ICC5, resulting in high-contrast, low-brightness images in this camera.


Here are 2 double-station events captured in May 2007.


Figure 2: Sporadic meteor captured by ICC5 (left) on Tenerife and LCC3 (right) on La Palma at 02:23:52 on the morning of May 10th 2007. The meteor reached a maxium brightness of approx. +1.3mag.

Figure 3: Eta Aquarid captured by ICC5 (left) on Tenerife and  LCC3 (right) on La Palma at 04:08:06 on the morning of May 11th 2007. The meteor reached a maxium brightness of approx. +1.0mag.

This page was last updated 07 Dec 2012 by dvk.
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This page was first created on 5 July, 2007 and was last updated on 8 December, 2012.
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