17 September 2012 Installation and verification of high precision mechanics in concrete structures at the example of ALMA antenna interfaces
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Abstract
For the ALMA interferometer at the array operation facility near San Pedro de Atacama at 5.000 meters asl 192 concrete antenna foundations had to be equipped with coupling points for 66 antennas. These antennas will be frequently moved between the foundations and placed on these interfaces without further adjustment. To position the ALMA antennas with the required accuracy, high precision inserts need to be installed in previously casted concrete foundations. Very tight mechanical tolerances have to be applied to civil structures, with standard tolerances of not less than millimeters. This is extremely difficult considering the material (mortar and steel in a concrete slab) to be used and the environmental conditions on site. Special tools had to be designed and an installation and alignment procedure developed, tested and improved. Important was to have a robust process, which allows highest precision installation without major re-machining for approx 600 interface blocks. Installation material, which could cope with the conditions, was specially tested for these requirements. The geometry of the interface and other parameters such as horizontal and vertical stiffness must be verified after the installation. Special metrology tools to measure reliable at micron level at high altitude had been selected. The experience and knowledge acquired will be beneficial for the installation of any opto-mechanical device in civil engineering structures, such as telescope and dome track rails, but also in optical interferometer installations. Metrology requirements and environmental conditions in most of these cases are equally challenging.
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Volker Heinz, Volker Heinz, Max Kraus, Max Kraus, Eduardo Orellana, Eduardo Orellana, } "Installation and verification of high precision mechanics in concrete structures at the example of ALMA antenna interfaces", Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84443V (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926154; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.926154
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