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Proceedings Paper

Design and construction of the Discovery Channel Telescope enclosure
Author(s): Heather K. Marshall; Jose U. Teran; Kevin Bond
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Paper Abstract

The Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) is a project of Lowell Observatory, undertaken with support from Discovery Communications, Inc., to design and construct a 4-meter class telescope and support facility on a site approximately 40 miles southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona. The Discovery Channel Telescope Enclosure was completed in November, 2009. The DCT Enclosure is an octagonal steel structure with insulated composite panel skin. The structure rotates on sixteen compliant bogie assemblies attached to the stationary facility. The shutter is composed of two independently actuated, bi-parting structures that provide a viewing aperture. To improve seeing, the skin is covered with adhesive aluminum foil tape and the enclosed observing area is passively ventilated via rollup doors. The observing area can also be actively ventilated using a downdraft fan, and there are provisions for upgrades to active air conditioning. The enclosure also includes operational equipment such as a bridge crane, personnel lift, and access platforms. This paper discusses some of the design trades as well as the construction challenges and lessons learned by the DCT Project, its designer M3 Engineering and Technology Corporation (M3), and its general contractor, Building and Engineering Contractors, Southwest (BEC Southwest).

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 August 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7733, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III, 77335C (11 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856465
Show Author Affiliations
Heather K. Marshall, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Lowell Observatory (United States)
Jose U. Teran, M3 Engineering & Technology Corp. (United States)
Kevin Bond, Building and Engineering Contractors Southwest Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7733:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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