Tyler Neusch

Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Physics


Physical Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. John Hughes

First Committee Member

Dr. Ted Von Hippel

Second Committee Member

Dr. Charles Lee

Third Committee Member

Dr. Stephen Gillam


The one-meter telescope on the roof of Embry-Riddle’s College of Arts and Sciences building in Daytona Beach, FL is an advanced piece of technology supporting education and public outreach. One part of this telescopic system is a custom-made Cassegrain Instrument Mount. This one-of-a-kind mount allows for multiple scientific instruments to be simultaneously mounted to the telescope. However, its mechanical layout prevents the use of a traditional device known as a filter wheel.

Filter wheels store multiple photo-filters each capable of filtering out all but certain wavelengths of light for use with a CCD camera. Therefore, a filter wheel allows the telescope user to conveniently select and change between wavelengths detected by a CCD.

During my senior year in Embry-Riddle’s Engineering Physics program, two others and myself undertook the task of creating a custom photo-filter switching apparatus that would mount on the Cassegrain Instrument Mount. At the end of this senior design we had a product that had the potential to meet all requirements set for the device, but was not yet technologically mature or operationally stable.

The goal of this thesis was to take the end senior design product and continue its development to a point of completion. Addressed first is a detailed history of the initial conceptual design as well as a description of the prototype (V0) and final senior design version (V1). Once the major problems were identified they were broken down and solved one by one, starting with mechanical modifications and moving on to the overhaul of the controlling software and user interfaces. Results from tests to verify that the system meets all requirements are also described.