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10 July 2018 Prototyping the GMT telescope metrology system on LBT
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Abstract
The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)1 is a 25 m telescope composed of seven 8.4 m “unit telescopes”, on a common mount. Each primary and conjugated secondary mirror segment will feed a common instrument interface, their focal planes co-aligned and co-phased. During telescope operation, the alignment of the optical components will deflect due to variations in thermal environment and gravity induced structural flexure of the mount. The ultimate co-alignment and co-phasing of the telescope is achieved by a combination of the Acquisition Guiding and Wavefront Sensing system (AGWS) and two segment-edge-sensing systems2. An analysis of the capture range of the AGWS indicates that it is unlikely that that system will operate efficiently or reliably with initial mirror positions provided by open-loop corrections alone3.

Since 2016 GMT have been developing a telescope metrology system, that is intended to close the gap between openloop modelling and AGWS operations. A prototyping campaign was initiated soon after receipt of laser metrology hardware in 2017. This campaign is being conducted in collaboration with the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (LBTO), and hardware was first deployed on the LBT in August 2017. Since that time the system had been run and developed over some hundreds of hours on-sky. It has been shown to be capable of reliably measuring the relative positions of the main optics over ~ 10 m to a repeatability of ~ 1-2 microns RMS. This paper will describe the prototyping campaign to date, the basic design of the system, lessons learned and results achieved. It will conclude with a discussion of future prototyping efforts.
Conference Presentation
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
A. Rakich, P. Schurter, R. Conan, J. M. Hill, M. Gardiner, M. Bec, and O. Kuhn "Prototyping the GMT telescope metrology system on LBT", Proc. SPIE 10700, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VII, 107001S (10 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2313900; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2313900
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