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Proceedings Paper

Next-generation radio telescope of the 12- to 15-m class for the future large-interferometer arrays in the southern hemisphere
Author(s): Dietmar E.K. Plathner
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Paper Abstract

Based on the quality proven technologies applied on the IRAM 15 m Plateau de Bure telescopes strategies have been developed to design antennas for the future large arrays in the southern hemisphere which shall operate at frequencies as high as 850 GHz and have a very large collecting area. For this type of antenna space frames were applied wherever possible as the full cross-section of their push-pull members is used for load transfer. Thus giving maximum stiffness at minimum weight to the proposed telescope structures. The lowest eigenfrequency is therefore predicted to be in the order of 12 Hz. Similar high performances are expected under the specified windloads at the chosen site in the Atacama Desert probably at an altitude of 5000 m. Such an exposed location requires simple, low maintenance telescopes despite of their high performance requirements, so that e.g. all active thermal stabilization is avoided by the use of low expansion carbon fiber composite material for critical members. Finally an opto-mechanical metrology system is applied which replaces the standard 'on- bord' encoders and makes the control of the telescopes independent of structural deformations in the mount. An overall surface error of 25 micrometer rms for a 12 to 15 m class telescope can be obtained and the resulting pointing error under wind load is in the order of 0.4 arcsec.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 July 1998
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3357, Advanced Technology MMW, Radio, and Terahertz Telescopes, (31 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317408
Show Author Affiliations
Dietmar E.K. Plathner, Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimetrique (France)


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

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