Concept study and validation of Antarctic telescope tower

Ephraim Lanford, Mark Swain, Catherine Meyers, Tamao Muramatsu, Greg Nielson, Valerie Olson, Sebastien Ronsse, Emily Vinding Nyden, Robert Hammerschlag, Patrick Little, John D. Monnier, Markus Schöller (+1 others)
2006 Advances in Stellar Interferometry  
Studies by Mark Swain and a colleague at the Max Planck Institut für Astronomie, coupled with results from past and ongoing projects at Harvey Mudd College, strongly suggest that it may be possible to achieve imaging performance comparable to the Hubble Space Telescope at relatively low cost using available, commercial products. This is achievable by placing a 2.4 m telescope, with readily available adaptive optics, on a 30 m tower located at a highelevation geological "dome" in Antarctica. An
more » ... nitial project surveyed relevant tower design approaches, then generated and evaluated six concept designs for telescope towers. Using data for typical and extreme wind at Dome C to generate wind loads, finite element analysis yielded lateral deflections at the top of 0.3 mm for typical winds and 12.1 mm for extreme gusts, with the lowest resonant frequency at 0.7 Hz; some tower concepts are innovative and allow for easy shipment, setup, and relocation. A subsequent project analyzed a tower designed by Hammerschlag and found fundamental resonance frequencies at 4.3 Hz for bending and 5.9 Hz for torsion; this project also designed and simulated an active telescope control system that maintained 17 milliarcsecond pointing error for the telescope atop the tower during typical wind conditions.
doi:10.1117/12.672346 fatcat:5fqdpmhxyfeu7jflc5hns54mbu