Apollo 600/800 Direct Drive

Paramount Apollo™ 600/800 Altazimuth Direct Drive Powerhouses

Speed and accuracy can be critical when imaging transient astronomical events, artificial satellites, and space debris and when communicating with assets in space using infrared lasers.

Available in two models, the Apollo 600 shoulders up to 400 pounds (180 kg) while the Apollo 800 can accommodate payloads of up to 800 pounds (360 kg). They’re very quick to the target with slew speeds of up to sixty-degrees-per-second with the 600 and up to thirty-degrees-per-second with the 800.

What makes Apollo™ so extraordinary is its control software. After all, your instruments need to move into exactly the right position to acquire and then track your targets.

Apollo’s control-software integrates TPoint™ Professional and our advanced Telescope Control System Pointing Kernel (TCSpk™) to deliver extremely accurate pointing and tracking. Indeed, many of the world’s largest optical, infrared, and radio observatories rely on our software.

Apollo is also equipped with TheSky™ Space edition, application software that controls your telescope, imaging devices, and dome. Advanced satellite software is also included — all nicely integrated and sporting a consistent look and feel.

The software’s included license allows you to install and run it on up to six separate computers. You can also select among macOS, Windows, and the exceptionally stable Linux (ARM64 and x86_64 architectures). Why paint yourself into a corner?

Designed to be deployed exclusively in altazimuth mode, the Apollo’s dual-tined fork design provides extraordinary stability. Of course, it also operates within relatively compact spaces.

To help assure excellent mechanical performance, Apollo’s are manufactured at our factory in Golden, Colorado. We use only high-grade metals that are precision-machined to our uncommonly high tolerances.

Apollo’s high-torque, direct-drive motors and optional image rotator incorporate 26-bit absolute digital encoders for excellent performance in acquiring and tracking targets. As essentially off-the-shelf components, the direct drive motors enjoy long track records of proven reliability across multiple industries.

Whether your acquisition and tracking needs involve transient astronomical events, ground-based electro-optical deep space surveillance (GEODSS),  laser communications (lasercom), or low-Earth satellites (LEO), Apollo might the perfect solution.

To learn more about the supremely capable Paramount Apollo, please review the Specifications tab below.

Telescope sold separately




See the Specifications tab for additional product details.

If the off‐the‐shelf specifications do not meet your needs, please contact us (systems@bisque.com) so that we can help design a system that meets your specifications.

Additional information


Apollo 600, Apollo 800

Paramount Apollo Specifications

Specification Description Apollo 600 Apollo 800
Instrument Capacity The maximum weight of the instruments that can be attached to the mount. 400 lb.
(180 kg)
800 lb.
(360 kg)
OTA Aperture The maximum diameter of the telescope. Up to 24 in. (0.6 m) Up to 32 in. (0.8 m)
Astronomy Software TheSky™ Space edition controls the mount, CMOS/CCD/DSLR cameras, autoguiders, motorized focusers, filter wheels, instrument rotators, and more.

• Interactive simulated sky charts
• Detailed information on up to 1.5 billion objects
• Configurable user interface
• TPoint telescope modeling
• Advanced autoguiding interface
• Advanced satellite tracking
• Automated pointing calibration
• Automated astrometry
• Observatory startup and shutdown
• Web-based object imports
• Scripted operation
• Extensible device support
• 800+ page user guide

Learn more >

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Cross Platform Software Control TheSky™ Space edition is compatible with macOS, Windows, and Linux operating systems, including ARM32, ARM64, and x86_64 architectures. All support platforms are included. checkmark checkmark
Direct Software Control The Apollo can be directly controlled through its Ethernet connection (TCP/IP) by scripting TheSky™ Space edition, and/or using third-party tools based on Microsoft .NET®, C/C++ source code, Microsoft COM®, or MathWorks MATLAB®. Contact Software Bisque for details. checkmark checkmark
Maximum Slew Speeds Generally, 30 degrees per second is a reasonable maximum limit with typical telescope loads.

Slew speeds are configurable up to a maximum 60 degrees per second if necessary.

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Motor Controller An industrial three-axis direct drive motor controller (10-20A, 20 kHz control algorithm rate).

A 120-220V AC 15A power supply unit is integrated within the mount base.

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Computer to Mount Communication Interface An Ethernet port is located on the mount base. TCP/IP protocol is used for communications with an external computer.

The motor controller also has two external serial ports.

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On-Axis Absolute Encoders 5.9 in. (15 cm) diameter, 26-bit on-axis absolute encoders on the azimuth, altitude, and instrument rotator axes. checkmark checkmark
Components 320 lb. (145 kg) total mount weight is shipped in four separate components:

• Base: 115 lb. (52 kg)
• Fork center: 50 lb. (14 kg)
• Drive tine: 88 lb. (40 kg)
• Support tine: 62 lb. (28 kg)

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Drive Tine Bearings Primary bearing: 8 in.
(20 cm)
8 in.
(20 cm)
Secondary bearing: 5 in.
(12.5 cm)
5 in.
(12.5 cm)
Motor Torque Constant 8.7 Nm/Arms 13.1 Nm/Arms
Support Tine 3.9-in. (12.5 cm) self-aligning bearing with an integrated multi-axis telescope stress relief mechanism. checkmark checkmark
Azimuth Axis Bearings Primary bearing size: 8 in.
(20 cm)
10 in. (25.4 cm)
Secondary bearing size: 5 in.
(12.5 cm)
6 in.
(15 cm)
Azimuth Axis Travel 540 degrees maximum rotation with spring-loaded stops at the limits of travel. checkmark checkmark
Altitude Axis Travel 0 – 90 degrees with spring dampened physical stops at end of travel.
Internal Brake In the event of power loss, an integrated brake on the altitude axis stops rotation.

The azimuth axis does not employ a brake but has spring-dampened limits to gently stop rotation.

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Slew Speed Range Double-precision speed specification, driven by TheSky Space™ edition and the TPoint TCSpk™ pointing kernel. checkmark checkmark
Cabling Cables required for mount operation and the controller are enclosed within the Apollo™ housing. A large access conduit through each fork accommodates custom instrument cables. checkmark checkmark
Cable Access Covers Removable cable covers provide easy access to internal cabling. checkmark checkmark
Locking Pins Both the altitude and azimuth axes can be locked in place to prevent rotation while mounting the telescope and other instrumentation. checkmark checkmark
Assembly Time The four individual mount components can be fully assembled by a two-person team in about one hour. checkmark checkmark
Motor Torque The continuous torque from the motors (not maximum torque) that is supplied to the altitude and azimuth axes. 65 Nm 103 Nm
Fork Width The distance between the inside of both tines. 24 in.
(60 cm)*
24 – 28 in.
(60 – 75 cm)*
Fork Width Adjustments High compression clamping mechanisms on both tines and the fork base allows the fork’s width to be adjusted to match the width of the telescope or instrumentation. checkmark checkmark
Fork Arm Length Distance from the fork base to the center of telescope mounting. 28 in.
(70 cm)*
28-34 in.
(75-86 cm)*
* Custom height and width fork arms for non-standard payloads are available for an additional fee. Email FrontDesk@bisque.com for pricing and availability. checkmark checkmark
Optional Instrument Rotator The optional Software Bisque direct-drive instrument rotator is the third axis on the direct-drive motor controller and plugs into the motor drive tine. TheSky and the TCSpk automatically corrects field rotation based on the telescope model. checkmark checkmark
Optional Telescope/OTA Attachment The optional Scope Rail System permits “drop-in” telescope mounting. checkmark checkmark
Operating Temperatures The operating range for the mount’s control system is 0 – 40 degrees C.

• A built-in heater automatically turns when the  ambient temperature drops below 5 degrees C and turns off when the temperature exceeds 10 degrees C.
• At higher temperatures, two built-in cooling fans can be turned on to cool the controller’s electronics.

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The specifications above are also available in the Paramount Apollo Specifications (PDF).

Paramount Apollo 600 and 800 User Guide

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