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Proceedings Paper

Cost scaling of finely segmented filled aperture large telescope observatories: a TMT study
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Paper Abstract

Previous studies of the scaling of the costs of ground based optical observatories suggest that total costs scale as the primary mirror diameter to a power between 1.7 and 3.0. It has been suggested that observatory costs may scale as primary mirror diameter squared reflecting the dependence on thinner mirrors in the current generation of observatory design. Upon completing the detailed cost estimate in support of the Preliminary Design for the Thirty Meter Telescope, an in depth study was undertaken to understand the sensitivity of the estimate to mirror diameter and thickness in addition to other leading parameters of TMT such as segmentation, primary focal ratio, and enclosure diameter. Based upon this analysis, and expressing the costs scaled solely to the mirror diameter, our analysis suggests that the TMT design scales effectively as the diameter to the power 1.2. We will describe the assumptions used to guide this study, the methods used to build the cost model, and the general results of the model.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7017, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy III, 70170K (11 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789933
Show Author Affiliations
Jeffrey Oram, Triad Project Management Services (United States)
David Goodman, TMT Observatory Corp. (United States)
Gary Sanders, TMT Observatory Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7017:
Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy III
George Z. Angeli; Martin J. Cullum, Editor(s)

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