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6 July 2018 Developing the ngDVA 15m composite reflector concept
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Abstract
The Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) project to replace the VLA telescope in New Mexico is just beginning. As a part of the initial Community Studies phase, we have contributed the concept design of a 15m feed-low wheel and track design. This telescope, the Next Generation Dish Verification Antenna 15m (ngDVA-15) follows on from the DVA-1 and DVA-2 antennas developed at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) between 2012 and the present day. This paper will concentrate on the design and optimization process for the ngDVA-15 back-up structure. Topology and free-size optimization were used to develop the initial design concepts. Both methods helped to steer the back-up structure in the initial design phase, but ultimately engineering intuition also played a role. Topology optimization can lead directly to useful solutions in some cases but hardware and software limitations still limit the physical size of the model. Also, topological routines cannot yet correctly model truss-type networks with no moment transfer at the joints, and optimizing structures with only gravitational loads proved to be challenging for the current generation of optimization routines. Size optimization was also used once the design was sufficiently refined. The initial stage of design involved minimization of reflector surface deflections under gravitational loads only. FEA modelling of surface deflections together with in-house developed fitting algorithms were used to determine primary surface accuracy. Surface accuracies of better than 80 microns RMS were achieved which met the initial design goal for telescope operation at 120GHz.
Conference Presentation
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Gordon Lacy and Mohammad Islam "Developing the ngDVA 15m composite reflector concept", Proc. SPIE 10700, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VII, 1070020 (6 July 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2311505
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