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Proceedings Paper

SOAR 4.2-m telescope: evolution of drive and pointing performance from early predictions to final testing
Author(s): Marvin F. Campbell; Edward O. Reese
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Paper Abstract

Based on its certification testing, the 4.2 Meter SOAR Telescope can be described as one of the most precise pointing instruments in the world, however, this was achieved a little differently than other telescopes. This instrument utilizes gear drives in azimuth, direct drives in altitude, and rolling element bearings on both axes instead of hydrostatic bearings. This combination of features provides a lower initial cost, significantly lower operating costs, simple maintenance, less potential for contaminating both the environment and the optics, less thermal effects and a greater degree of safety. This is achieved by relying on a sophisticated servo control system adapted from much larger radio astronomy instruments and rolling element bearing designs with exceptionally low friction torque. The design approach was not "stumbled upon" but rather performance was predicted from the initial studies, through the proposal, the early design stages, up through the final "as built" configuration. This paper traces the development of the performance estimates through that period.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 February 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4837, Large Ground-based Telescopes, (4 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.456985
Show Author Affiliations
Marvin F. Campbell, VertexRSI (United States)
Edward O. Reese, VertexRSI (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4837:
Large Ground-based Telescopes
Jacobus M. Oschmann; Larry M. Stepp, Editor(s)

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