This general purpose enclosure offers access to the sky for small temporary instruments, and for a permanent larger telescope. Its truss roof rolls back on the steel I-beams and tracks that extend to the north of the building. A chain drive attached to the underside of the trusses provides the power that makes opening the observatory simple. Heavy steel pins secure the roof when it is closed. The building is on a concrete pad originally intended for a student radio telescope, and it is serviced by a versatile cable trough that provides power and network from the main building.
The roll roof building now houses the RC Optical Systems 0.5-meter Azari telescope which was a gift to the university from Dan Azari in 2018. The instrument is on a fast slewing altitude-azimuth mounting with precision encoders on both axes enabling tracking of Earth-orbiting objects, as well us the usual celestial ones. It will be used for tracking and passive optical and near-infrared characterization of artificial satellites, and for student projects such as transient object followup and direct color imaging that can be done remotely through Shared Skies.
In the past, the roll roof has housed many different telescopes primarily for students to use because it is accessible and
with the roof open reveals the whole sky.