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Proceedings Paper

Design concepts for primary mirror support structures of large telescopes for optical and submillimeter astronomy
Author(s): Christian L. Stutzki; Hiroki Tamai; Thomas A. Sebring
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Paper Abstract

Technologies of modern optical telescopes with large primary mirror are based on adaptive optics. These telescopes operate with many small mirror segments, so that all the segments work as a large piece of a reflective curved plate, i.e. a paraboloid. Each mirror segment is independently attached to a support structure via adjustable warping harnesses. A support structure is required to be extremely rigid in order to maintain the reflective surface. This paper describes the conceptual approach for the design of such support structures. A system proven to fulfill these requirements with efficient structural material use is a node-and-bar system, so-called space frame. The rules for geometry of space frame structures are based on the system of the five 'platonic solids': The edges of the conceptually assembled solids can be replaced by the bar members of a space frame to achieve maximum stiffness. This conceptual approach is demonstrated with examples in the paper, by illustrating the determination of the geometry and examining the deformation due to the telescope rotations during operation. This paper also demonstrates design solutions for other issues relevant to space frame geometry, such as effects of gradient thermal load and redundancy of the structures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 July 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7012, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II, 70122I (17 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.787685
Show Author Affiliations
Christian L. Stutzki, Stutzki Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Hiroki Tamai, Stutzki Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Thomas A. Sebring, Cornell Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7012:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi, Editor(s)

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