When planets orbit distant stars, they sometimes pass between their star and Earth, blocking out some of the light, and causing the star to seem a little dimmer. However, there are also other things that can make stars appear to dim. We can distinguish between when dimming is caused by a planet and something else, because when a planet orbits a star, it creates a pattern where the star dims on a regular schedule. By detecting these patterns in star variation, we can identify potential exoplanets. This method is advantageous, since seeing stars is quite easy, and seeing planets takes a lot more money and time. Using two cameras, GEOFF automatically compiles images of the sky every night. By amassing data over extended periods of time, we are able find stars that periodically seem to dim and brighten repeatedly.


Ihsan A. Turk


Ian Norfolk, Zachary Thomas, Jeremy Struhl, Cole Phoenix, Toochi Brown, Steveen Gomez


Today the control box board was completed. Now we are going to create the power supply and assemble the final unit.

Camera Box:

Control Box Board:


Today the camera board was completed and all tests were passed. We are continuing by soldering the control board(aka power board).


We have continued working on the Camera Board and have made lots of progress since our last update. We are currently on step 9 of 12. More importantly, the control box board(also referred to as the power board) has had its instructions updated. We will complete the camera box board(aka head unit box) before starting work on the control box board.


We have learned that the control box board’s instructions are not updated. This means that we are going to switch from working on the control board to the camera box board. Currently, we are checking the PCB’s connection before continuing with soldering.


Since last time we have continued on our soldering work. We thought it would be appropriate due to our lack of photos to show you some media involving the soldering process


PCB so far.

Jeremy working.


Today both groups have begun that soldering process and we have currently soldered some parts to the PCB. We have moved the work station from the Makerspace to the side room.


In contrary to what we said earlier it appears the institution has decided that we work in a single group focusing on the computer box. Every day we will check into the project sheet making sure that we know what is to be and has been worked on.


Despite missing parts, we can begin assembling the electronics. Because our team is split between two class periods we will be dividing the work among the two class periods. Team one(Ihsan, Jeremy, and Ian), will work on the camera box electronics, and team two(Toochi, Zachary, Steveen, and Cole) will work on the control box electronics.

Main objectives to achieve by Monday of next week:

-Order all missing PCB components

-Each team complete two component tests


Here are the components we are missing:

1x DHT22 Temperature and Humidity Sensor
1x DC/DC Voltage Regulator, 5V 1A
1x DC/DC Voltage Regulator, 9V 1A
2x 10µF ±10% 50V Ceramic Capacitor X7S Radial
2x 33µH Unshielded Wirewound Inductor 1.9A 220 mOhm Max Axial
2x 22µF ±20% 16V Ceramic Capacitor X7R Radial
1x TVS Zener Diode 12V 17.1V 1.5KE
1x Green 527nm LED Indication – Discrete 3.4V Radial
6x 2 (1 x 2) Position Shunt Connector Black Open Top 0.100″ (2.54mm) Gold
1x 3 DS18B20 Temperature Sensors


Today, Joe Wise is driving to Caltech to pick up the interface circuit board. Meaning that work will soon start on soldering and electronic assembly.


Today we are finalizing white papers for publication. We have received new electronics instructions from Nem, a builder of the CalTech PANOPTES Unit and major contributor to the project as a whole. We are the first unit to utilize these instructions and will be providing feed back via google docs and finding solutions to any problems that arise. These instructions feature an improved design of the PANOPTES electrical system, with two prototype circuit boards that replace three in the previous design. And it does all of this at a lower price than the original build.


Ihsan, Jeremy, and Ian finished waterproofing the tripod.


Jeremy and Ihsan created new cardboard models for the weatherproofing, since the original ones were lacking coverage in some areas, and did not allow full mobility of the mount.


White papers:
1. Exoplanet history
2. Discovery methods
3. Transit method
4. Orbital period
5. Goldilocks zone
6. Who are the main exoplanet researchers?
8. History/collaborators of PANOPTES


0. Get 3’x1’x.01″ thick aluminum sheet
0.5 Get big plastic tubing for swivel region protection
0.75 Get NUC
1. Waterproof everything
2. Edit Poster
3. Preliminary write-ups for PANOPTES paper.


The following picture are the measurements for the telescope mount. They will be used to create a permanent pier for the camera box and mount.


Completed hardware assembly, only electronics need configuration.