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6 July 2006 A new look for Gemini: rapid-cured composites for an exchangeable top-end
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The Gemini-sponsored WFMOS Feasibility Study investigated a wide-field, prime focus installation for the Gemini telescopes. As constructed, the Gemini design allows for multiple, interchangeable telescope top-ends, although this capability has never been implemented. Constrained by a particularly challenging top-end mass budget, we proposed a new top end specific to WFMOS, employing a carbon fiber reinforced plastic structure. An innovative, out-of-autoclave manufacturing process using balanced pressure and liquid heating and cooling enables high-specification, large CFRP structures to be constructed suitable for incorporation as fundamental parts of telescope structures. Advantages include low weight, enhanced overall telescope stiffness, and cost-effective construction with on-site final assembly. We describe the manufacturing process and the proposed top-end structure, as well as highlighting the advantages of this type of structure and material for large and extremely large telescopes in general.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Stan Miziarski, Andrew McGrath, N. Milby, D. E. Brosius, and M. J. von Bertouch "A new look for Gemini: rapid-cured composites for an exchangeable top-end", Proc. SPIE 6273, Optomechanical Technologies for Astronomy, 627332 (6 July 2006);

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