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Voice Controlled Automated Amateur Observatory

Contact Information

University:  University of Utah

Team Member(s):  ByungjuYoo, James Nolin, Chris Brammer

Faculty Advisors:  Dr. Don Bloswick

Email Address:

Project Information

Title:  Voice Controlled Automated Amateur Observatory


The SKOPE is a miniature observatory which allows students and friends to learn more about astronomy through interaction.  The LabVIEW program provides its user with the ability to verbally give a command such as “Find Polaris” or “Find Mars”, and the program will automatically use the motorized telescope mount to point the telescope at the celestial object, while also displaying a view of what the user can expect to see through the telescope.


NI USB-6008, LabVIEW 2009

The Challenge:

Our team’s challenge was to build an automated telescope mount which can find and follow celestial objects in the sky.  Calculating the exact angles at an accuracy that will find a celestial object in the night sky was a substantial mathematical challenge. However, building a telescope mount that can maintain the necessary accuracy to point at a specific celestial object, and using motors to control the angle of the telescope with such accuracy, proved to be an enormous challenge.  Accomplishing this within a tight budget was also a constraining factor. Fortunately, these challenges were met without too much difficulty thanks to the robust tools found in LabVIEW.

The Solution:

Location of Celestial Objects


Mechanical System andControls

Voice Recognition

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LabVIEW and NI tools

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NI Employee (retired)

Hello there,

Thank you so much for your project submission into the NI LabVIEW Student Design Competition. It's great to see your enthusiasm for NI LabVIEW! Make sure you share your project URL( with your peers and faculty so you can collect votes for your project and win. Collecting the most "likes" gives you the opportunity to win cash prizes for your project submission. If you or your friends have any questions about how to go about "voting" for your project, tell them to read this brief document ( You have until July 15, 2011 to collect votes!

I'm curious to know, what's your favorite part about using LabVIEW and how did you hear about the competition? Great work!!

Good Luck, Liz in Austin, TX.