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Proceedings Paper

Alignment and use of the optical test for the 8.4-m off-axis primary mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope
Author(s): S. C. West; J. H. Burge; B. Cuerden; W. Davison; J. Hagen; H. M. Martin; M. T. Tuell; C. Zhao; T. Zobrist
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Paper Abstract

The Giant Magellan Telescope has a 25 meter f/0.7 near-parabolic primary mirror constructed from seven 8.4 meter diameter segments. Several aspects of the interferometric optical test used to guide polishing of the six off-axis segments go beyond the demonstrated state of the art in optical testing. The null corrector is created from two obliquelyilluminated spherical mirrors combined with a computer-generated hologram (the measurement hologram). The larger mirror is 3.75 m in diameter and is supported at the top of a test tower, 23.5 m above the GMT segment. Its size rules out a direct validation of the wavefront produced by the null corrector. We can, however, use a reference hologram placed at an intermediate focus between the two spherical mirrors to measure the wavefront produced by the measurement hologram and the first mirror. This reference hologram is aligned to match the wavefront and thereby becomes the alignment reference for the rest of the system. The position and orientation of the reference hologram, the 3.75 m mirror and the GMT segment are measured with a dedicated laser tracker, leading to an alignment accuracy of about 100 microns over the 24 m dimensions of the test. In addition to the interferometer that measures the GMT segment, a separate interferometer at the center of curvature of the 3.75 m sphere monitors its figure simultaneously with the GMT measurement, allowing active correction and compensation for residual errors. We describe the details of the design, alignment, and use of this unique off-axis optical test.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 2010
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 7739, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation, 77390N (19 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857251
Show Author Affiliations
S. C. West, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
J. H. Burge, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
B. Cuerden, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
W. Davison, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
J. Hagen, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
H. M. Martin, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
M. T. Tuell, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
C. Zhao, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
T. Zobrist, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7739:
Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation
Eli Atad-Ettedgui; Dietrich Lemke, Editor(s)

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