5 August 2010 Computational fluid dynamic modeling of the summit of Mt. Hopkins for the MMT Observatory
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Abstract
Over the past three decades, the staff of the MMT observatory used a variety of techniques to predict the summit wind characteristics including wind tunnel modeling and the release of smoke bombs. With the planned addition of a new instrument repair facility to be constructed on the summit of Mt. Hopkins, new computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models were made to determine the building's influence on the thermal environment around the telescope. The models compared the wind profiles and density contours above the telescope enclosure with and without the new building. The results show the steeply-sided Mount Hopkins dominates the summit wind profiles. In typical winds, the height of the telescope remains above the ground layer and is sufficiently separated from the new facility to insure the heat from the new building does not interfere with the telescope. The results also confirmed the observatories waste heat exhaust duct location needs to be relocated to prevent heat from being trapped in the wind shadow of the new building and lofting above the telescope. These useful models provide many insights into understanding the thermal environment of the summit.
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S. Callahan, "Computational fluid dynamic modeling of the summit of Mt. Hopkins for the MMT Observatory", Proc. SPIE 7738, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy IV, 77381M (5 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857275; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857275
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