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6 July 2006 Large bearings with incorporated gears, high stiffness, and precision for the Swedish Solar Telescope (SST) on La Palma
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The 1-meter Swedish Solar Telescope (SST) obtains images of the solar surface with an unprecedented resolution of 0.1 arcsec. It consists of a relatively slender tower with on top only the vacuum turret for reflecting downward the solar beam and no protective dome. This is a favourable situation to get good local seeing. Just in the case of some wind, seeing is best for daytime observations, therefore the precision bearings and drives of the elevation- and azimuth axis of the turret have to be stiff against wind. This requires line contact between the meshing teeth of the large gear wheel and the pinion. High preload forces to achieve line contact are not allowed because of appearing stick-slip effects. To reduce the risk on stick-slip a special design of the teeth for high stiffness combined with low friction and smooth transition from one tooth to the next was made. Furthermore, extreme precision in the fabrication was pursued such that relatively small contact forces give already line contact. This required a special order of the successive fabrication steps of the combination of bearing and gear teeth. An additional problem was the relatively thin section of the bearings required for a compact turret construction, needed for best local seeing and minimum wind load. Solutions for all these problems will be discussed. For the large gears the exceptional good DIN quality class 4 for the pitch precision and straightness plus direction of the teeth faces was achieved.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert H. Hammerschlag, Felix C. M. Bettonvil, Aswin P. L. Jägers, and Göran B. Scharmer "Large bearings with incorporated gears, high stiffness, and precision for the Swedish Solar Telescope (SST) on La Palma", Proc. SPIE 6273, Optomechanical Technologies for Astronomy, 627315 (6 July 2006);


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