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Proceedings Paper

Foldable dome climate measurements and thermal properties
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Paper Abstract

As part of a larger project for measuring various aspects of foldable domes in the context of EST and with support of the Dutch Technology Foundation STW, we have collected over a year of continuous temperature and humidity measurements, both inside and outside the domes of the Dutch Open Telescope (DOT) on La Palma5 and the GREGOR telescope on Tenerife.6 In addition, we have measured the wind field around each dome. Although the structure of both domes is similar, the DOT dome has a single layer of cloth, and is situated on top of an open tower. In contrast, the GREGOR dome has a double layer of cloth, and is situated on top of a tower-shaped building. These differences result in large differences in temperature and humidity insulation when the dome is closed. We will present the changes in temperature and humidity one can expect for each dome within one day, and the statistics for the variations throughout a year. In addition, we will show that the main advantage of a foldable dome is the near instantaneous equilibration of the air inside the volume originally enclosed by the dome and that of the environment outside the dome. This property allows one to operate a telescope without needing expensive air conditioning and dome skin temperature control in order to limit dome and shell seeing effects. The measurements give also information about the weather fluctuations at the sites of the domes. It was observed that on small time scales the temperature fluctuations are significantly greater during the day than during the night.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 August 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7733, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III, 773332 (4 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857650
Show Author Affiliations
Guus Sliepen, Utrecht Univ. (Netherlands)
Technology Foundation STW (Netherlands)
Aswin P. L. Jägers, Utrecht Univ. (Netherlands)
Technology Foundation STW (Netherlands)
Robert H. Hammerschlag, Utrecht Univ. (Netherlands)
Felix C. M. Bettonvil, Utrecht Univ. (Netherlands)
Technology Foundation STW (Netherlands)


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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