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Proceedings Paper

Concept study and validation of Antarctic telescope tower
Author(s): Ephraim Lanford; Mark Swain; Catherine Meyers; Tamao Muramatsu; Greg Nielson; Valerie Olson; Sebastien Ronsse; Emily Vinding Nyden; Robert Hammerschlag; Patrick Little
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Paper Abstract

Studies by Mark Swain and a colleague at the Max Planck Institut fur Astronomie, coupled with results from past and ongoing projects at Harvey Mudd College, strongly suggest that it may be possible to achieve imaging performance comparable to the Hubble Space Telescope at relatively low cost using available, commercial products. This is achievable by placing a 2.4 m telescope, with readily available adaptive optics, on a 30 m tower located at a high-elevation geological "dome" in Antarctica. An initial project surveyed relevant tower design approaches, then generated and evaluated six concept designs for telescope towers. Using data for typical and extreme wind at Dome C to generate wind loads, finite element analysis yielded lateral deflections at the top of 0.3 mm for typical winds and 12.1 mm for extreme gusts, with the lowest resonant frequency at 0.7 Hz; some tower concepts are innovative and allow for easy shipment, setup, and relocation. A subsequent project analyzed a tower designed by Hammerschlag and found fundamental resonance frequencies at 4.3 Hz for bending and 5.9 Hz for torsion; this project also designed and simulated an active telescope control system that maintained 17 milliarcsecond pointing error for the telescope atop the tower during typical wind conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6268, Advances in Stellar Interferometry, 626814 (27 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.672346
Show Author Affiliations
Ephraim Lanford, Harvey Mudd College (United States)
Mark Swain, Max Planck Institut für Astronomie (Germany)
Catherine Meyers, Harvey Mudd College (United States)
Tamao Muramatsu, Harvey Mudd College (United States)
Greg Nielson, Harvey Mudd College (United States)
Valerie Olson, Harvey Mudd College (United States)
Sebastien Ronsse, Harvey Mudd College (United States)
Emily Vinding Nyden, Harvey Mudd College (United States)
Robert Hammerschlag, Sterrekundig Instituut, Univ. Utrecht (Netherlands)
Patrick Little, Harvey Mudd College (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6268:
Advances in Stellar Interferometry
John D. Monnier; Markus Schöller; William C. Danchi, Editor(s)

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