The main imaging instruments available on the LCO Network are as follows.

For an indication on exposure times to use with these instruments, use our exposure time calculator.

Science Imagers

Name Telescope Class Pixel scale "/pix (std. binning) Field of view Overhead per frame Filter wheel options
Spectral 2-meter 0.300 (bin 2x2) 10'x10' 22s 18
Sinistro 1-meter 0.389 (bin 1x1) 26'x26' 47 s 21
SBIG 6303 0.4-meter 0.571 (bin 2x2) 29'x19' 32 s 9

Older instruments

Merope 2-meter 0.278 (bin 2x2) 5'x5' 29 s 18
SBIG 1-meter 0.464 (bin 2x2) 15.8'x15.8' 15 s 21

In September 2016, Sinistro imagers are the science instruments at two of the three 1-meter telescopes in Chile (LSC), one of the 1-meter telescopes in Australia (COJ), and the 1-meter telescope in Texas (ELP). Sinistro imagers are also being commissioned in a second 1-meter in Australia (COJ) and in Dome C in South Africa (CPT).  The other 1-meter telescopes are equipped with SBIG imagers. Full deployment of Sinistro imagers is expected by the start of the 2017A semester.


FLOYDS (2-meter)

FLOYDS is a cross-dispersed, low resolution spectrograph, installed at both 2-m telescopes. Through use of a cross-disperser, the wavelength coverage in a single shot is extremely broad -- with 540-1000nm in first order and 320-570nm in second order. Resolution varies from R=400 to R=700, and is roughly 1.65 nm/pixel in 1st order and 0.825 nm/pixel in second order. FLOYDS North and South have a different set of slits to bracket the median seeing at each site, please see the table above. Acquisition and guiding is done robotically via a separate camera which images the slit and produces a 6.4’x4.3’ field of view.

For more information see the detailed description of FLOYDS.

NRES (1-meter)

LCO's Network of Robotic Echelle Spectrographs (NRES) will be six identical high-resolution (R~53,000), precise (≤ 3 m/s), optical (380-860 nm) echelle spectrographs, each fiber-fed (2.58" per fiber width) simultaneously by two 1 meter telescopes and a ThAr calibration source. The expected long-term accuracy for NRES is better than 3 m/s in less than an hour for stars brighter than V = 12. Like all instruments at LCO, scheduling, observing, and data reduction will be autonomous, and all data will be publicly available after a proprietary period. Deployment of NRES is expected to begin by the end of 2016.

For more information see the detailed description of NRES.


The majority of LCO’S imaging instruments make use of 75mm square filters in 18 or 21 capacity filterwheels. Standard loadout is a complete Johnson-Cousins/Bessell set (UBVRI) and a SDSS/PanSTARRS set (u’g’r’i’z’sYw). Spectral, the 2-m imager also contain some narrowband filters (Halpha, Hbeta, OIII, D51, Skymapper CaV and a “Comet Hale-Bopp” set (FTN Merope only).

For full details see the observatory filter sets page.