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Proceedings Paper

Telescope performance verification
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Paper Abstract

While Systems Engineering appears to be widely applied on the very large telescopes, it is lacking in the development of many of the medium and small telescopes currently in progress. The latter projects rely heavily on the experience of the project team, verbal requirements and conjecture based on the successes and failures of other telescopes. Furthermore, it is considered an unaffordable luxury to "close-the-loop" by carefully analysing and documenting the requirements and then verifying the telescope's compliance with them. In this paper the authors contend that a Systems Engineering approach is a keystone in the development of any telescope and that verification of the telescope's performance is not only an important management tool but also forms the basis upon which successful telescope operation can be built. The development of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) has followed such an approach and is now in the verification phase of its development. Parts of the SALT verification process will be discussed in some detail to illustrate the suitability of this approach, including oversight by the telescope shareholders, recording of requirements and results, design verification and performance testing. Initial test results will be presented where appropriate.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5497, Modeling and Systems Engineering for Astronomy, (16 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.551360
Show Author Affiliations
Gerhard P. Swart, SALT Foundation (South Africa)
David A. H. Buckley, SALT Foundation (South Africa)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5497:
Modeling and Systems Engineering for Astronomy
Simon C. Craig; Martin J. Cullum, Editor(s)

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