The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is an optical-infrared 25 Meter ELT to be located in Chile. It is being designed and constructed by a group of U.S. and international universities and research institutions. The Gregorian Instrument Rotator (GIR) for GMT will be a structural-mechanical assembly 9.4 meters in diameter and 6.9 meters long. The complete assembly including structure, instruments and mechanisms has a rotating mass of 117,000 kg. It will be supported by a unique bearing system using high-capacity precision industrial rollers. The rollers will support the GIR via two large hardened and ground runner bearings integral with the structure. The bearing system includes an upper axial bearing with (8) rollers and an upper and lower radial bearing, each using (10) identical rollers. The bearing system will have the advantages of adjustability, low friction, low noise (jitter), and low cost. The rollers have a manufacturer-rated capacity 4 times greater than their maximum working load in GMT. It is important that the hardened runner bearings have a life in this application comfortably greater than the life of the GIR in the telescope. A test was devised and executed to confirm the life of the runner bearing surface (track) and to characterize the bearing friction. The bearing system design and test details and results are described.
Steve Gunnels, Steve Gunnels,
"The Giant Magellan telescope (GMT): Gregorian instrument rotator bearing", Proc. SPIE 9145, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes V, 91455E (22 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057567; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2057567