The upper part of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) altitude structure is one of the most critical areas of
the telescope's structure. This part hosts sensitive optical elements of the telescope. Its structural performance has a
major impact on the whole system. The most critical requirements are low optical path obscuration, high static and
dynamic performance (high specific modulus), high mechanical safety (high specific strength), low wind cross section
and low weight.
Composite materials are ideally suited to meet these requirements. This study is carried out in order to quantify the
relative advantage of composite material over mild steel, in terms of performance and costs. The mechanical behavior of
the steel structure can be easily improved with a structure manufactured with composite materials. This structure is
significantly lighter than the steel one and reduces relative displacements between primary and secondary mirror.
Consequently, optical performance is improved, assembly process is simplified and transport cost is reduced.
The Wind Evaluation Breadboard (WEB) for the European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is a primary mirror and
telescope simulator formed by seven segments simulators, including position sensors, electromechanical support systems
and support structures. The purpose of the WEB is to evaluate the performance of the control of wind buffeting
disturbance on ELT segmented mirrors using an electro-mechanical set-up which simulates the real operational
constrains applied to large segmented mirrors. The instrument has been designed and developed by IAC, ALTRAN,
JUPASA and ESO, with FOGALE responsible of the Edge Sensors, and TNO of the Position Actuators. This paper
describes the mechanical design and analysis, the control architecture, the dynamic model generated based on the Finite
Element Model and the close loop performance achieved in simulations. A comparison in control performance between
segments modal control and actuators local control is also presented.
The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) structural rope system will be integrated in a mechanical structure,
which can be made of mild steel and/or composite material. The following critical problems shall be solved by the rope
system: matching of differential thermal expansion and tensioning forces calibration and control.
The structural rope system consists of ropes, thermal compensation and tension control devices, and mechanical
interfaces with the telescope structure.
The objective of this study is to provide solutions to stabilize slender structural elements located in the upper part of the
E-ELT Altitude Structure and increase global mode frequencies of the upper part of the E-ELT Altitude Structure. An
appropriate rope system is developed to avoid local mode shapes and loss of stiffness that could lead to the failure of the
whole structure under operational loads. The pre-tension level of the ropes needs to be controlled before operation to
reach that objective.
ELMER is an optical instrument for the GTC designed to observe between 3650 and 10000 Armstrong. The observing modes for the instrument at Day One shall be: Imaging, Long Slit Spectroscopy, Mask-multi-object spectroscopy, Slit-less multi-object spectroscopy, Fast Photometry and Fast short-slit spectroscopy. It will be installed at the Nasmyth-B focal station at Day One, but it will also be designed to operate at the Folded Cassegrain focal station. The physical configuration of the instrument consists of a front section where the focal plane components are mounted (Slit Unit) and a rear section with the rest of the components (Field Lens, Prism/Grism/VPH Wheel, Filter Wheel, Collimator, Camera, Folder Mirrors, Shutter and Cryostat with the detector). Both sections are connected through a hexapod type structure. The optical path is bent twice with the two folder mirrors providing a compact system.
The design phase of the ELMER Structure and Mechanisms finished on November 2002. Procurement and manufacturing covered from December 2002 to June 2003. Mechanical and electrical integration was accomplished on September 2003. Test campaign at factory covered from the end of September to mid November. Critical performance of the mechanics has been carefully tested during this period: positional tolerances of optical interfaces, repeatability of the 5 mechanisms (4 rotating wheels and collimator linear stage) and deflections of the instrument due to gravity. Results from the tests are widely within the specified values, providing a top performance instrument.
ELMER is an optical instrument for the GTC designed to observe between 370 and 1000 nm. The observing modes for the instrument at Day One shall be: imaging, long slit spectroscopy, slit-less multi-object spectroscopy, fast photometry, fast short-slit spectroscopy and mask multi-object spectroscopy. It will be installed at the Nasmyth-B focal station at Day One, but it has also been designed to operate at the Folded Cassegrain focal station. The physical configuration of the instrument consists of a front section where the focal plane components are mounted (cover masks and slits) and a rear section with the rest of the components (field lens, folder mirrors, collimator, shutter, filters, prisms, grisms, camera and cryostat). Both sections are connected through a hexapod type structure.
An accurate behavior model of the instrument has been developed to optimize the design of the structural parts. The geometry of the hexapod configuration has been adjusted to reduce the ratio between the lateral deflection of the rear section and its rotation in order to minimize the image motion due to the deflections of the instrument. Special effort has been devoted to the design of the drives of the four wheels, each one driven by a preloaded worm gear.
The Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) is a 10 m-class telescope which is under construction and will be operational at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos at the end of 2003. The goal of this paper is to describe the current status of the design and construction of the primary, secondary and tertiary mirrors of the GTC and their opto-mechanical supports. It also summarizes the optical performances expected from the GTC and the error budget of the optical system.