PlaneWave Instruments was founded in 2006 by Richard Hedrick and Joseph Haberman, two former telescope engineers at Celestron, one of the largest telescope manufacturer worldwide. Richard Hedrick brings over 21 years of telescope design experience. As former Chief Technology Officer and previous owner of Celestron he was responsible for developing Celestron’s award winning Schmidt-Cassegrain computerized telescopes. Joseph Haberman has over 20 years of experience in telescope design and worked at Celestron as an optical engineer and master optician. Getting a product like the CDK into the hand of serious imagers and amateur astronomers has been a shared vision of Hedrick and Haberman for many years. PlaneWave Instruments is committed to providing observatory-class products for serious astronomers at an unprecedented value.
Richard Hedrick - President, CEO and Co-founderRichard Hedrick’s background in telescopes comes from a long history at Celestron, one of the world’s leading telescope manufactures, where he designed telescopes for over 11 years, most recently serving as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. While at Celestron, Mr. Hedrick managed an extensive engineering department, which included industrial, mechanical, optical, software and electronics engineers, as well as overseeing the information systems department. Mr. Hedrick chaired Celestron’s product development team and was the driving force behind telescope innovations at Celestron for over a decade. He has been awarded numerous patents for telescope designs and algorithms.
With a background in physics and astronomy, Mr. Hedrick led Celestron’s engineering team in the NexStar 5 telescope design, one of the company’s most successful product launches. The NexStar 5 incorporated an ergonomic design never seen in the amateur telescope market, as well as very sophisticated software that made the telescope easier to use than any previous computerized telescope on the market. Under his leadership in 2000, Celestron took that design and moved it down to telescopes in the $199 to $599 range with the NexStar GT line of telescopes. In 2001, also under his leadership, Celestron released the first telescope ever to have an integrated GPS and compass, making the process of aligning a telescope easier than it had ever been before.
In 2005, Mr. Hedrick co-invented a new invention – yet another process for aligning the telescope to the sky, called SkyAlign (patent pending), which dramatically improved the process again. Subsequently, SkyAlign was first made available on Celestron’s CPC series of telescopes. In 2006 Mr Hedrick led the Celestron engineering team in getting the revolutionary SkyScout Personal Planetarium to market.
Mr. Hedrick is also an avid amateur astronomer, astrophotographer and telescope maker. In 1991, while still a student, he started a telescope making class at El Camino College in Torrance, CA which continues to be a popular course at the college to this day.
Mr. Hedrick graduated from the University of California Los Angeles with a BS degree in Physics. While at UCLA, he worked for the Physics department in the Particle Beam Physics Laboratory and was part of a team of undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students who built a 20 MeV particle accelerator. Some of the experiments conducted on the PBPL Accelerator were Plasma Lensing, Free Electron Lasers, and X-ray Backscattering.
Joseph Haberman - Vice President and Co-founderJoe Haberman brings over 15 years of optical engineering experience, most recently at Celestron, where he held the position of Optical Design Engineer and Master Optician. Mr. Haberman, an avid amateur astronomer, first became interested in making optics in the early 90’s and finished his first paraboloidal mirror in 1993 – in the same telescope making class at El Camino College that Rick Hedrick started.
After finishing his first telescope, a 10” f/6 Newtonian, Mr. Haberman was hooked on the intricacies of building telescope optical systems and went on to make mirrors and lenses of many shapes and sizes over the years perfecting his craft. In 2000, with the assistance of his homemade Mirror-O-Matic machines, Mr. Haberman started his own optics company, Haberman Optics. The company built a solid reputation for making large aperture paraboloidal mirrors, which caught the attention of executives at Celestron who recruited him to build their next generation optics.
Mr. Haberman’s passion for making telescope optics eventually led to his pioneering work on new optical designs. His extensive research on and development of new optical systems has resulted in some cutting edge advancements in optics, including co-designing the CDK20 with Dave Rowe and Richard Hedrick. His extensive optics research also led to the development of several new variations to Tom Waineo’s null test, which he uses to test the ellipsoidal primary mirror of the CDK20.