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Proceedings Paper

Low-friction magnetically levitating support for telescope primary mirrors
Author(s): Rick Dale Blakley
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Paper Abstract

A unit device for supporting a telescope primary mirror in its cell is described. It replaces the traditional roller- ball or oil-bellows support unit. The device utilizes the levitating field from opposing magnets to support the primary's weight above the cell's surface. This frees the bearings of the device so that the primary may expand or contract smoothly, unimpaired with `sticky', loaded bearings. The mechanics of the device restrain the opposing magnets from drifting inappropriately and work to isolate the primary from undesirable bending moments. Supplying the near-cell magnet, which may advance toward the near-primary magnet, with the standard counterweight and fulcrum commonly seen behind the cell assures the primary/device, weight/force balance remains for any orientation. Design, forces, and ongoing research for levitated support is discussed. A prototype is under construction.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 August 2000
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4004, Telescope Structures, Enclosures, Controls, Assembly/Integration/Validation, and Commissioning, (2 August 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.393914
Show Author Affiliations
Rick Dale Blakley, M3 Engineering & Technology Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4004:
Telescope Structures, Enclosures, Controls, Assembly/Integration/Validation, and Commissioning
Thomas A. Sebring; Torben Andersen, Editor(s)

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