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28 September 2004 Development of an active optical system for the SOAR telescope
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This paper describes the design and summarizes the performance of the recently completed SOAR telescope Active Optical System (AOS). This system is unique in that it uses a thin, solid 4.3-meter diameter ULE lightweight meniscus primary mirror only 100 mm thick. The figure of the primary mirror surface is controlled with 120 electro-mechanical actuators that are force feedback controlled. The telescope is calibrated against the sky using a calibration wave-front sensor; as this calibration progresses, feedback forces, initially set from finite element analysis predictions, are replaced with sky database look-up tables. The system also includes a 0.6-meter diameter secondary mirror articulated by a hexapod for real-time optical alignment of the telescope, a 0.6-meter class tertiary mirror that also works as a 50 Hz tip tilt corrector to compensate for atmospheric turbulence and a rotary turret mechanism for directing the light to either of two nasmyth or three-bent cassegrain instrument ports. An operation control system interfaces with the telescope control system and each of the hardware assemblies. The paper provides an overview of the design of each assembly as well as summarizes results of performance testing the system.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Conrad Neufeld, Victor Bennett, Andrea Sarnik, Gregory Ruthven, Michael Keane, Thomas A. Sebring, and Victor L. Krabbendam "Development of an active optical system for the SOAR telescope", Proc. SPIE 5489, Ground-based Telescopes, (28 September 2004);


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