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Proceedings Paper

Development of an active optical system for the SOAR telescope
Author(s): Conrad Neufeld; Victor Bennett; Andrea Sarnik; Gregory Ruthven; Michael Keane; Thomas A. Sebring; Victor L. Krabbendam
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the design and summarizes the performance of the recently completed SOAR telescope Active Optical System (AOS). This system is unique in that it uses a thin, solid 4.3-meter diameter ULE lightweight meniscus primary mirror only 100 mm thick. The figure of the primary mirror surface is controlled with 120 electro-mechanical actuators that are force feedback controlled. The telescope is calibrated against the sky using a calibration wave-front sensor; as this calibration progresses, feedback forces, initially set from finite element analysis predictions, are replaced with sky database look-up tables. The system also includes a 0.6-meter diameter secondary mirror articulated by a hexapod for real-time optical alignment of the telescope, a 0.6-meter class tertiary mirror that also works as a 50 Hz tip tilt corrector to compensate for atmospheric turbulence and a rotary turret mechanism for directing the light to either of two nasmyth or three-bent cassegrain instrument ports. An operation control system interfaces with the telescope control system and each of the hardware assemblies. The paper provides an overview of the design of each assembly as well as summarizes results of performance testing the system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5489, Ground-based Telescopes, (28 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.551583
Show Author Affiliations
Conrad Neufeld, Goodrich Corp. (United States)
Victor Bennett, Goodrich Corp. (United States)
Andrea Sarnik, Goodrich Corp. (United States)
Gregory Ruthven, Goodrich Corp. (United States)
Michael Keane, Goodrich Corp. (United States)
Thomas A. Sebring, Lowell Observatory (United States)
Victor L. Krabbendam, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5489:
Ground-based Telescopes
Jacobus M. Oschmann, Editor(s)

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