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Proceedings Paper

Practical considerations for pointing a binocular telescope
Author(s): Michele D. De La Peña; David L. Terrett; David Thompson; Christopher J. Biddick
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Paper Abstract

The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) consists of two 8.4-meter primary mirrors on a common mount. When the telescope is complete, to complement the two primaries there will be two 0.9-meter adaptive secondaries and two tertiary mirror flats that all work to support a variety of Gregorian focal stations, as well as prime focus. A fundamental goal of the telescope is to perform interferometric observations, and therefore, there is a critical need for the ability to co-point the individual telescopes to high precision. Further, a unique aspect of the LBT is the comparatively large range over which the optics can be adjusted which provides flexibility for the acquisition of targets. In the most general case, an observer could be performing an observation using different targets, within constraints, with different instruments on each of the two telescope sides, with different observing duty cycles. As a consequence of the binocular nature of the telescope and the number of possible observing combinations, there are unique requirements imposed on the Telescope Control System (TCS), and in particular, on the Pointing Control Subsystem (PCS). It is the responsibility of the PCS to arbitrate the pointing requests made on the two sides of the telescope by the observers, incorporate guide updates, and generate tracking trajectories for the mount and the rotators, in conjunction with providing tip/tilt demands on the subsystem controlling the optical elements, and ensure each target remains on the specified location (i.e., pointing origin) in the focal plane during an active observation. This paper describes the current design and implementation of the LBT PCS.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 2010
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7740, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy, 77402F (19 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856067
Show Author Affiliations
Michele D. De La Peña, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)
David L. Terrett, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
David Thompson, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)
Christopher J. Biddick, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7740:
Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy
Nicole M. Radziwill; Alan Bridger, Editor(s)

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