The New Robotic Telescope is designed to conduct rapid target follow-up within 30 seconds of an ‘alert’ from survey facilities. To achieve this will require a quick settling time requirement for the mount structure and the mirrors. This means the structure shall be designed to be sufficiently rigid to achieve the mirror position within the ‘settle time’ after a quick slew operation. An optimization analysis using the finite element model is developed to conceptually design the mount structure that meets the mechanical and more importantly the NRT science requirements. The main objective of this study is to determine the required locked rotor resonance frequency (LRF) that provides enough rigidity for the telescope dynamic performance while minimizing the structural mass and cost.
The robotic 2-metre Liverpool Telescope (LT), located at Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, has seen great success in its <15 year lifetime. In particular the facility thrives in time domain astronomy, responding rapidly to triggers from Swift and efficiently conducting a wide variety of science with its intelligent scheduler. The New Robotic Telescope (NRT) will be a 4-metre class, rapid response, autonomous telescope joining the Liverpool Telescope on La Palma in ~2025. The NRT will slew to targets and start observations within 30 seconds of receipt of a trigger, allowing us to observe faint and rapidly fading transient sources that no other optical facility can capture. The NRT will be the world’s largest optical robotic telescope. Its novel, first-generation instrumentation suite will be designed to conduct spectroscopic, polarimetric and photometric observations driven by user requirements.
The New Robotic Telescope (NRT) will be the largest fully robotic telescope in the world (4-m class). The primary mirror (M1) will be comprised of 18 independent 960 mm hexagonal segments with an actively controlled position to maintain the shape of the optical surface. The secondary mirror (M2) will be a lightweighted circular mirror of 1270 mm of diameter. This contribution presents the conceptual design and preliminary results of the M1 segment support assembly and a first study of two lightweighted substrate candidates for the M2 mirror.