9 August 2016 Computational fluid dynamics modeling and analysis for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)
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Abstract
The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is planned for construction at a summit of Cerro Las Campanas at the Los Campanas Observatory (LCO) in Chile. GMT will be the most powerful ground-based telescope in operation in the world. Aero-thermal interactions between the site topography, enclosure, internal systems, and optics are complex. A key parameter for optical quality is the thermal gradient between the terrain and the air entering the enclosure, and how quickly that gradient can be dissipated to equilibrium. To ensure the highest quality optical performance, careful design of the telescope enclosure building, location of the enclosure on the summit, and proper venting of the airflow within the enclosure is essential to minimize the impact of velocity and temperature gradients in the air entering the enclosure.

High-fidelity Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of the GMT, enclosure, and LCO terrain is performed to study (a) the impact of either an open or closed enclosure base soffit external shape design, (b) the effect of telescope/enclosure location on the mountain summit, and (c) the effect of enclosure venting patterns. Details on the geometry modeling, grid discretization, and flow solution are first described. Then selected computational results are shown to quantify the quality of the airflow entering the GMT enclosure based on soffit, site location, and venting considerations. Based on the results, conclusions are provided on GMT soffit design, site location, and enclosure venting. The current work is not used to estimate image quality but will be addressed in future analyses as described in the conclusions.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
John Ladd, John Ladd, Jeffrey Slotnick, Jeffrey Slotnick, William Norby, William Norby, Bruce Bigelow, Bruce Bigelow, William Burgett, William Burgett, "Computational fluid dynamics modeling and analysis for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)", Proc. SPIE 9911, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VI, 991114 (9 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231933; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231933
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