Star Instruments and RC Optical Systems Prevail over Meade Instruments

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Star Instruments, a leading manufacturer of Ritchey-Chretien optical systems, and RC Optical Systems, Inc., a leading manufacturer of Ritchey-Chretien telescopes, today announced that Meade Instruments Corporation and its dealers have effectively signed a settlement agreement to rename their RCX400 and LX200R line of telescopes that they claimed contained "Advanced Ritchey-Chretien" optics.

RC Optical Systems and I are pleased to have successfully defended our principles to preserve the integrity of the optical design invented by American astronomer George Ritchey and French Astronomer Henri Chretien in the early 1910s. This design continues to be the premiere optical design in telescopes and observatories throughout the world including the Hubble Space Telescope.

    The agreement ensures that Meade Instruments Corporation will: a) not place any new magazine advertising which states that the LX200R, the RCX400 or any catadioptric or refractor telescope is a "Ritchey-Chretien"; b) ensure that none of their advertising states that the LX200R, the RCX400 or any catadioptric or refractor telescope is a "Ritchey-Chretien"; c) remove the "R" from the model number of the LX200R and the "RC" from the model number of the RCX400, and shall not thereafter use "RC", separately or in combination with other letters such as "ARC," to identify telescope models that are not a two-mirror optical system utilizing a concave hyperbolic primary mirror and a convex hyperbolic secondary mirror without any lens or refractor; and d) not describe any telescope as "Ritchey-Chretien" unless it is a two-mirror optical system utilizing a concave hyperbolic primary mirror and a convex hyperbolic secondary mirror without a lens or refractor.

Paul Jones, Owner-Optician of Star Instruments who has been manufacturing Ritchey-Chretien optics for over 30 years, stated, "RC Optical Systems and I are pleased to have successfully defended our principles to preserve the integrity of the optical design invented by American astronomer George Ritchey and French Astronomer Henri Chretien in the early 1910s. This design continues to be the premiere optical design in telescopes and observatories throughout the world including the Hubble Space Telescope." He further stated that, "Truth in advertising prevailed in this case. The 'coma-free' Schmidt-Cassegrain design was first published in the early 60's by Ronald Willey in Sky & Telescope magazine. While this design eliminates coma, it does have serious spherochromatism making it less desirable for astrophotography and unusable out of the visible spectrum as compared to the Ritchey-Chretien design."

ABOUT STAR INSTRUMENTS

Established in 1976, Star Instruments is a leading manufacturer and supplier of professional-quality custom optics. Specializing in Ritchey-Chretien optical systems for manufacturers of quality tube assemblies and complete telescopes, universities and government agencies including NASA, the company designs, fabricates and performs testing of custom optical systems including Classical Cassegrain, ultraviolet, visual and infrared applications as well as mirrors and lens systems at its headquarters in Newnan, Georgia. Visit http://www.star-instruments.com for more information.

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Russell K. Statman
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