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Proceedings Paper

Method and apparatus for manufacturing high-accuracy radio telescope reflector panels
Author(s): Marinus Ben Bosma
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Paper Abstract

This article covers the manufacturing of aluminum reflector panels for submillimeter radio astronomy. The first part involves the general construction and application of a machine custom designed and built to do this. The second is a discussion of the software and execution of method to actually produce the reflectors for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatories Submillimeter Array (SMA). The reflective surface of each panel is contoured both radially and circularly by oscillating a platen supporting the panel about a fixed axis relative to a tool which is fixed during platen oscillation. The tool is repositionable between oscillations along an x axis to achieve the radial contour and along a z axis to achieve the desired parabolic or spherical contour. Contrary to the normal contouring of such a surface with a 5- axis CNC machine, tool positioning along either axis is independent of tool location along the other axis, simplifying the machine structure as well as its computerized operation. A unique hinge is provided to restrain the platen in a radial direction while allowing floating action of the platen on an air cushion during its oscillation. These techniques and the equipment are documented in U.S. Patent No. 5477602.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 July 1998
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3357, Advanced Technology MMW, Radio, and Terahertz Telescopes, (31 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317395
Show Author Affiliations
Marinus Ben Bosma, Bosma Machine and Tool Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3357:
Advanced Technology MMW, Radio, and Terahertz Telescopes
Thomas G. Phillips, Editor(s)

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