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Proceedings Paper

The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope: design and early construction
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Paper Abstract

The National Solar Observatory’s (NSO) Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) is the first large U.S. solar telescope accessible to the worldwide solar physics community to be constructed in more than 30 years. The 4-meter diameter facility will operate over a broad wavelength range (0.35 to 28 μm ), employing adaptive optics systems to achieve diffraction limited imaging and resolve features approximately 20 km on the Sun; the key observational parameters (collecting area, spatial resolution, spectral coverage, polarization accuracy, low scattered light) enable resolution of the theoretically-predicted, fine-scale magnetic features and their dynamics which modulate the radiative output of the sun and drive the release of magnetic energy from the Sun’s atmosphere in the form of flares and coronal mass ejections. In 2010, the ATST received a significant fraction of its funding for construction. In the subsequent two years, the project has hired staff and opened an office on Maui. A number of large industrial contracts have been placed throughout the world to complete the detailed designs and begin constructing the major telescope subsystems. These contracts have included the site development, AandE designs, mirrors, polishing, optic support assemblies, telescope mount and coudé rotator structures, enclosure, thermal and mechanical systems, and high-level software and controls. In addition, design development work on the instrument suite has undergone significant progress; this has included the completion of preliminary design reviews (PDR) for all five facility instruments. Permitting required for physically starting construction on the mountaintop of Haleakalā, Maui has also progressed. This paper will review the ATST goals and specifications, describe each of the major subsystems under construction, and review the contracts and lessons learned during the contracting and early construction phases. Schedules for site construction, key factory testing of major subsystems, and integration, test and commissioning activities will also be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 844407 (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926949
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph P. McMullin, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Thomas R. Rimmele, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Stephen L. Keil, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Mark Warner, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Samuel Barden, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Scott Bulau, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Simon Craig, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Bret Goodrich, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Eric Hansen, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Steve Hegwer, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Robert Hubbard, National Solar Observatory (United States)
William McBride, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Steve Shimko, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Friedrich Wöger, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Jennifer Ditsler, National Solar Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8444:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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