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Proceedings Paper

High-precision robotic equatorial C-ring telescope mounts: design, fabrication, and performance
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Paper Abstract

The performance of the C-ring telescope mount rivals other designs in stiffness, tracking, simplicity, lack of field rotation, mechanical size and operating envelope. Issues relating to cost, fabrication, and complexity have suppressed the prevalence of the C-ring mount. The Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) robotic C-ring telescope mounts, built for its network of 1.0m and 0.4m telescopes, solve many of these issues. The design yields a scalable mount with performance capabilities well suited for telescopes located at the best astronomical sites in the world at a low cost. Pointing has been demonstrated to be under 7 arc-sec RMS. Unguided tracking performance is 0.6 arc-sec for 1 minute and 2 arc-sec for 15 minutes. Slew speeds of 10deg/sec are reliably used with sub-second settling times. The mount coupled with the 1.0m telescope yields a well damped 16 Hz system. Axes are driven with zero backlash direct drive motors with a 0.01 arc-sec resolution. High system bandwidth yields superb disturbance rejection making it ideal for open air operation. Drive and bearings are maintenance free and feature a novel "bug cover" to seal them from wear and damage. Low costs are achieved with the drive/feedback configuration, structure design, and fabrication techniques, as well minimizing operating and maintenance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 July 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7739, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation, 77391R (21 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857573
Show Author Affiliations
Matthew A. Dubberley, Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (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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