24 September 2012 Buckling failure of the automated planet finder spectrometer determinate spaceframe
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Abstract
The Ken and Gloria Levy Spectrometer is now operational at a new 2.4 meter telescope on Mt. Hamilton. Together the spectrometer and telescope comprise the Automated Planet Finder (APF), a radial velocity instrument. A catastrophic failure occurred during transit as the instrument was being shipped to the observatory. Several struts buckled in the space frame that supported the echelle grating. This event has caused UCO/Lick to re-evaluate design methodology and how engineering safety factors apply to this type of structure. This paper describes the shipping container design, events during shipment, the failure mechanism, testing and analysis of a remedy, and its implementation. We also suggest design changes to prevent similar failures in the future.
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Matthew V. Radovan, Matthew V. Radovan, Gerald F. Cabak, Gerald F. Cabak, "Buckling failure of the automated planet finder spectrometer determinate spaceframe", Proc. SPIE 8446, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 84468A (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926619; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.926619
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