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Proceedings Paper

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) structure
Author(s): Steve Gunnels; Warren B. Davison; Brian Cuerden; Edward Hertz
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Paper Abstract

A concept design has been developed for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). The project is a collaboration by a group of U.S. universities and research institutions to build a 21.5-meter equivalent aperture optical-infrared telescope in Chile. The segmented primary mirror consists of seven 8.4-meter diameter borosilicate honeycomb mirrors that will be cast by the Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory. The fast primary optics allow the use of unusually compact telescope and enclosure structures. A wide range of secondary trusses has been considered for the alt-az mount. The chosen truss employs carbon fiber and steel and, due to its unique geometry, achieves high stiffness with minimal wind area and primary obscuration. The mount incorporates hydrostatic supports and a C-ring elevation structure similar in concept to those implemented on the Magellan 6.5-m and LBT dual 8.4-m telescopes. Extensive finite element analysis has been used to optimize the telescope structure, achieving a lowest telescope resonant frequency of ~5 Hz. The design allows for removal and replacement of any of the 7 subcells for off-telescope mirror coating with no risk to the other mirrors. A wide range of instruments can be used which mount to the top or underside of a large instrument platform below the primary mirror cells. Large instruments are interchanged during the day while small and medium-sized instruments can be enabled quickly during the night. The large Gregorian instruments will incorporate astatic supports to minimize flexure and hysteresis.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5495, Astronomical Structures and Mechanisms Technology, (29 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550266
Show Author Affiliations
Steve Gunnels, Paragon Engineering (United States)
Warren B. Davison, Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Brian Cuerden, Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Edward Hertz, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5495:
Astronomical Structures and Mechanisms Technology
Joseph Antebi; Dietrich Lemke, Editor(s)

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