Rack-and-Pinion DriveDownload PDF
The Residential Observatory roof is moved horizontally by a two-stage rack-and-pinion drive system that operates similar to a file cabinet drawer. Four pinion gears, each powered by a 1/4 horsepower gearmotor, engage with racks mounted to the two-stage guide assemblies. The pinions move along the racks to extend the guides, resulting in 18 feet of horizontal roof travel. When fully extended, the roof cantilevers off the back of the observatory and provides full visual clearance for the optical telescope housed within.