4 February 2003 Designing the SALT facility to minimize dome seeing effects
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Abstract
Aspects of the design and experience of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) were incorporated in the SALT facility design. The characteristics of the local environment were taken into account to ensure a building that is cost effective and functional. The effect of heat from the control room and other warm areas were studied and their locations changed to limit thermal effects. A steel false floor, incorporating forced ventilation and extending around the telescope azimuth pier, was installed. This prevents heat radiating from large concrete surfaces with temperatures potentially higher than ambient. Because site testing (i.e. micro thermal measurements) indicated high turbulence within ~5 m of the ground level, the telescope and pier were raised to improve dome seeing. The SALT site is significantly windy all year round (median velocity = 4.8 m/s), and this was utilized to design better ventilation of the facility using adjustable louvers for natural ventilation. Results of a computational fluid dynamic analysis (CFD) are presented which show an adequate temperature distribution at wind speeds as low as 0.5 m/s. The telescope chamber and dome are build out of insulation panels to ensure low thermal losses during the day when the chamber is air conditioned and thus limit electricity consumption and thermal gradients. Large equipment that emit heat or vibration are housed in a separate utility building 50 m from the telescope in the non-prevailing wind direction in order to limit their effect on the telescope. Vented air from the building is also released at this site.
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Mariana de Kock, Mariana de Kock, Sarel J. Venter, Sarel J. Venter, } "Designing the SALT facility to minimize dome seeing effects", Proc. SPIE 4837, Large Ground-based Telescopes, (4 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457030; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.457030
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