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Proceedings Paper

Bearing sphere for SOFIA telescope: a challenge for design and manufacturing
Author(s): Guenter Stoeffler; Robert Heydenreich
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Paper Abstract

Supporting the Telescope structure is done via a Bearing Sphere in a Hydraulic bearing which is part of the SOFIA Suspension system. Frictionless bearing requires a sphere with varying stiffness in defined directions and a smooth and wear resistant surface giving also corrosion resistance against humidity and hydraulic fluid. Weight restrictions and through penetration by the Nasmyth Tube required a highly sophisticated design and manufacturing techniques. The 1.2 m sphere is cast from nodular cast iron, machined and coated by electrodeposition with a sulfamate nickel coating on the outer bearing sphere surfaces. The sphere represents a one of a kind construction unique in stiffness to mass ratio. The design as well as manufacturing philosophy of the sphere are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 June 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4014, Airborne Telescope Systems, (20 June 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.389110
Show Author Affiliations
Guenter Stoeffler, MAN Technologie AG (Germany)
Robert Heydenreich, MAN Technologie AG (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4014:
Airborne Telescope Systems
Ramsey K. Melugin; Hans-Peter Roeser, Editor(s)

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