27 July 2016 MROI Array telescopes: the relocatable enclosure domes
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Abstract
The MROI - Magdalena Ridge Interferometer is a project which comprises an array of up to 10 1.4m diameter mirror telescopes arranged in a “Y” configuration. Each of these telescopes will be housed inside a Unit Telescope Enclosure (UTE) which are relocatable onto any of 28 stations. EIE GROUP Srl, Venice – Italy, was awarded the contract for the design, the construction and the erection on site of the MROI by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. The close-pack array of the MROI - including all 10 telescopes, several of which are at a relative distance of less than 8m center to center from each other - necessitated an original design for the Unit Telescope Enclosure (UTE). This innovative design enclosure incorporates a unique dome/observing aperture system to be able to operate in the harsh environmental conditions encountered at an altitude of 10,460ft (3,188m). The main characteristics of this Relocatable Enclosure Dome are: a Light insulated Steel Structure with a dome made of composites materials (e.g. glass/carbon fibers, sandwich panels etc.), an aperture motorized system for observation, a series of louvers for ventilation, a series of electrical and plants installations and relevant auxiliary equipment. The first Enclosure Dome is now under construction and the completion of the mounting on site id envisaged by the end of 2016. The relocation system utilizes a modified reachstacker (a transporter used to handle freight containers) capable of maneuvering between and around the enclosures, capable of lifting the combined weight of the enclosure with the telescope (30tons), with minimal impacts due to vibrations.
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G. Marchiori, G. Marchiori, A. Busatta, A. Busatta, I. Payne, I. Payne, Lisa Maretto, Lisa Maretto, "MROI Array telescopes: the relocatable enclosure domes", Proc. SPIE 9906, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI, 99065I (27 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2234949; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2234949
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