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Proceedings Paper

UKIRT Upgrades Program: control of the telescope thermal environment
Author(s): Charles P. Cavedoni; Timothy G. Hawarden; Timothy C. Chuter; Ivan A. Look
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Paper Abstract

The control of the telescope thermal environment at the 3.8-m United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) is based on the requirements that dome seeing should not degrade the image quality by more than 0.05 arcsec (FWHM) and that mirror seeing should be reduced to negligible proportions. After quantifying steady state and transient heat flow around and through the building, we set out on a program to meet these requirements. Major telescope enclosure upgrades to address dome seeing include natural dome ventilation with 16 apertures in the base of the dome and for near still-air nights, forced-air ventilation via the plant room exhaust system. To address mirror seeing, we are in the process of installing a day-time mirror cooling system that can drive and/or keep the primary mirror between 0 degrees Celsius and 2.5 degrees Celsius colder than the predicted night-time local dome air temperature. Nevertheless, during the night, if the primary mirror is warmer than the local dome air, a flushing system is available to blow away warm convective air cells as they form. This paper describes design considerations of the natural dome ventilation system (DVS), the hardware of the primary mirror cooling and flushing system and the performance of the mirror flushing system on a dummy mirror segment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 March 1997
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2871, Optical Telescopes of Today and Tomorrow, (21 March 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.269097
Show Author Affiliations
Charles P. Cavedoni, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Timothy G. Hawarden, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Timothy C. Chuter, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Ivan A. Look, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2871:
Optical Telescopes of Today and Tomorrow
Arne L. Ardeberg, Editor(s)

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