Construction of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is well underway on the Haleakalā summit on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Featuring a 4-m aperture and an off-axis Gregorian configuration, the DKIST will be the world’s largest solar telescope. It is designed to make high-precision measurements of fundamental astrophysical processes and produce large amounts of spectropolarimetric and imaging data. These data will support research on solar magnetism and its influence on solar wind, flares, coronal mass ejections, and solar irradiance variability. Because of its large aperture, the DKIST will be able to sense the corona’s magnetic field—a goal that has previously eluded scientists—enabling observations that will provide answers about the heating of stellar coronae and the origins of space weather and exo-weather. The telescope will cover a broad wavelength range (0.35 to 28 microns) and operate as a coronagraph at infrared (IR) wavelengths. Achieving the diffraction limit of the 4-m aperture, even at visible wavelengths, is paramount to these science goals. The DKIST’s state-of-the-art adaptive optics systems will provide diffraction-limited imaging, resolving features that are approximately 20 km in size on the Sun.
At the start of operations, five instruments will be deployed: a visible broadband imager (VTF), a visible spectropolarimeter (ViSP), a visible tunable filter (VTF), a diffraction-limited near-IR spectropolarimeter (DLNIRSP), and a cryogenic near-IR spectropolarimeter (cryo-NIRSP). At the end of 2017, the project finished its fifth year of construction and eighth year overall. Major milestones included delivery of the commissioning blank, the completed primary mirror (M1), and its cell. Commissioning and testing of the coudé rotator is complete and the installation of the coudé cleanroom is underway; likewise, commissioning of the telescope mount assembly (TMA) has also begun. Various other systems and equipment are also being installed and tested. Finally, the observatory integration, testing, and commissioning (IT&C) activities have begun, including the first coating of the M1 commissioning blank and its integration within its cell assembly. Science mirror coating and initial on-sky activities are both anticipated in 2018.
Implementation of an air curtain at the thermal boundary between conditioned and ambient spaces allows for observation over wavelength ranges not practical when using optical glass as a window. The air knife model of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) project, a 4-meter solar observatory that will be built on Haleakalā, Hawai’i, deploys such an air curtain while also supplying ventilation through the ceiling of the coudé laboratory. The findings of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and subsequent changes to the air knife model are presented. Major design constraints include adherence to the Interface Control Document (ICD), separation of ambient and conditioned air, unidirectional outflow into the coudé laboratory, integration of a deployable glass window, and maintenance and accessibility requirements. Optimized design of the air knife successfully holds full 12 Pa backpressure under temperature gradients of up to 20°C while maintaining unidirectional outflow. This is a significant improvement upon the .25 Pa pressure differential that the initial configuration, tested by Linden and Phelps, indicated the curtain could hold. CFD post- processing, developed by Vogiatzis, is validated against interferometry results of initial air knife seeing evaluation, performed by Hubbard and Schoening. This is done by developing a CFD simulation of the initial experiment and using Vogiatzis’ method to calculate error introduced along the optical path. Seeing error, for both temperature differentials tested in the initial experiment, match well with seeing results obtained from the CFD analysis and thus validate the post-processing model. Application of this model to the realizable air knife assembly yields seeing errors that are well within the error budget under which the air knife interface falls, even with a temperature differential of 20°C between laboratory and ambient spaces. With ambient temperature set to 0°C and conditioned temperature set to 20°C, representing the worst-case temperature gradient, the spatial rms wavefront error in units of wavelength is 0.178 (88.69 nm at λ = 500 nm).
We provide an update on the construction status of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope. This 4-m diameter facility is designed to enable detection and spatial/temporal resolution of the predicted, fundamental astrophysical processes driving solar magnetism at their intrinsic scales throughout the solar atmosphere. These data will drive key research on solar magnetism and its influence on solar winds, flares, coronal mass ejections and solar irradiance variability. The facility is developed to support a broad wavelength range (0.35 to 28 microns) and will employ state-of-the-art adaptive optics systems to provide diffraction limited imaging, resolving features approximately 20 km on the Sun. At the start of operations, there will be five instruments initially deployed: Visible Broadband Imager (VBI; National Solar Observatory), Visible SpectroPolarimeter (ViSP; NCAR High Altitude Observatory), Visible Tunable Filter (VTF (a Fabry-Perot tunable spectropolarimeter); Kiepenheuer Institute for Solarphysics), Diffraction Limited NIR Spectropolarimeter (DL-NIRSP; University of Hawaii, Institute for Astronomy) and the Cryogenic NIR Spectropolarimeter (Cryo-NIRSP; University of Hawaii, Institute for Astronomy).
As of mid-2016, the project construction is in its 4th year of site construction and 7th year overall. Major milestones in the off-site development include the conclusion of the polishing of the M1 mirror by University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences, the delivery of the Top End Optical Assembly (L3), the acceptance of the Deformable Mirror System (Xinetics); all optical systems have been contracted and are either accepted or in fabrication. The Enclosure and Telescope Mount Assembly passed through their factory acceptance in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The enclosure site construction is currently concluding while the Telescope Mount Assembly site erection is underway. The facility buildings (Utility and Support and Operations) have been completed with ongoing work on the thermal systems to support the challenging imaging requirements needed for the solar research.
Finally, we present the construction phase performance (schedule, budget) with projections for the start of early operations.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) has been in its construction phase since 2010, anticipating the onset of the integration, test, and commissioning (IT&C) phase in early 2017, and the commencement of science verification in 2019. The works on Haleakala are progressing at a phenomenal rate and many of the various subsystems are either through or about to enter their Factory (or Laboratory) acceptance. The delays in obtaining site planning permissions, while a serious issue for Project Management, has allowed the sub-systems to develop well ahead of their required delivery to site. We have benefited from the knowledge that many sub-systems will be on site and ready for integration well before affecting the critical path. Opportunities have been presented for additional laboratory/factory testing which, while not free, significantly reduce the risks of potential delays and rework on site. From the perspective of IT&C this has provided an opportunity to develop the IT&C plans and schedules free from the pressures of imminent deployment.
In this paper we describe the ongoing planning of the Integration, Testing and Commissioning (IT&C) phase of the project in particular the detailed planning phase that we are currently developing.
We provide a brief update on the construction status of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, a $344M, 10-year construction project to design and build the world's largest solar physics observatory. We review the science drivers along with the challenges in meeting the evolving scientific needs over the course of the construction period without jeopardizing the systems engineering and management realization. We review the tools, processes and performance measures in use in guiding the development as well as the risks and challenges as the project transitions through various developmental phases. We elaborate on environmental and cultural compliance obligations in building in Hawai'i. We discuss the broad "lessons learned". Finally, we discuss the project in the context of the evolving management oversight within the US (in particular under the NSF).
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), formerly the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST), is now in its sixth year of construction. During the two years that have elapsed since our last systems engineering update we have been through factory acceptance of several major subsystems including the enclosure, telescope mount assembly, and the primary mirror. With these major milestones behind us, site assembly in progress, and with the integration, test, and commissioning phase about to begin, we will discuss what has been working well in terms of DKIST systems engineering processes along with some things we could have done better and would do differently if given another chance. The paper examines examples of successes including full-scale factory assembly of major mechanical components and some less optimum outcomes. We explore the reasons for success or failure, including the early delivery and level of detail in factory acceptance test procedures.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) was envisioned from an early stage to incorporate a functional safety system to ensure the safety of personnel and equipment within the facility. Early hazard analysis showed the need for a functional safety system. The design used a distributed approach in which each major subsystem contains a PLC-based safety controller. This PLC-based system complies with the latest international standards for functional safety. The use of a programmable controller also allows for flexibility to incorporate changes in the design of subsystems without adversely impacting safety. Various subsystems were built by different contractors and project partners but had to function as a piece of the overall control system. Using distributed controllers allows project contractors and partners to build components as standalone subsystems that then need to be integrated into the overall functional safety system. Recently factory testing was concluded on the major subsystems of the facility. Final integration of these subsystems is currently underway on the site. Building on lessons learned in early factory tests, changes to the interface between subsystems were made to improve the speed and ease of integration of the entire system. Because of the distributed design each subsystem can be brought online as it is delivered and assembled rather than waiting until the entire facility is finished. This enhances safety during the risky period of integration and testing. The DKIST has implemented a functional safety system that has allowed construction of subsystems in geographically diverse locations but that function cohesively once they are integrated into the facility currently under construction.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is a 4-meter solar telescope under construction at Haleakala, Hawaii. The challenge of the DKIST optical alignment is the off-axis Gregorian configuration based on an Altitude-Azimuth mount, the independently-rotating Coudé platform and the large number of relay mirrors. This paper describes the optical alignment plan of the complete telescope, including the primary 4.24-m diameter off-axis secondary mirror, the secondary 620 mm diameter off-axis mirror, the transfer optics and the Coudé optics feeding the wavefront correction system and the science instruments. A number of accurate metrology instruments will be used to align the telescope and to reach the performances, including a laser tracker for initial positioning, a theodolite for accurate tilt alignment, a Coordinate Measurement Machine (CMM) arm for local alignment in the Coudé laboratory, and a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor to characterize the aberrations by measuring selected target stars. The wavefront will be characterized at the primary focus, the Gregorian focus, the intermediate focus and at the telescope focal plane. The laser tracker will serve also to measure the mirrors positions as function of Altitude angle due to the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) structure deflection. This paper describes also the method that will be used to compute the compensating mirrors shift and tilt needed to correct the residual aberrations and position of the focal plane.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), formerly the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST), has been in its construction phase since 2010, anticipating the onset of integration, test, and commissioning (IT and C) phase late in 2016, and the commencement of science verification in early 2019. In this paper we describe the role of Systems Engineering during these final phases of the project, and present some of the tools, techniques, and methods in use for these purposes. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of lessons learned so far including things we might do differently next time.
System safety for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is the joint responsibility of a Maui-based safety team
and the Tucson-based systems engineering group. The DKIST project is committed to the philosophy of “Safety by
Design”. To that end the project has implemented an aggressive hazard analysis, risk assessment, and mitigation system.
It was initially based on MIL-STD-882D, but has since been augmented in a way that lends itself to direct application to
the design of our Global Interlock System (GIS). This was accomplished by adopting the American National Standard
for Industrial Robots and Robot Systems (ANSI/RIA R15.06) for all identified hazards that involve potential injury to
In this paper we describe the details of our augmented hazard analysis system and its use by the project. Since most of
the major hardware for the DKIST (e.g., the enclosure, and telescope mount assembly) has been designed and is being
constructed by external contractors, the DKIST project has required our contractors to perform a uniform hazard analysis
of their designs using our methods. This paper also describes the review and follow-up process implemented by the
project that is applied to both internal and external subsystem designs. Our own weekly hazard analysis team meetings
have now largely turned to system-level hazards and hazards related to specific tasks that will be encountered during
integration, test, and commissioning and maintenance operations. Finally we discuss a few lessons learned, describing
things we might do differently if we were starting over today.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), formerly the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST), has
been in its construction phase since 2010, anticipating the onset of the integration, test, and commissioning (IT&C)
phase late in 2016, and the commencement of science verification in early 2019. In this paper we describe the
planning of the Integration, Testing and Commissioning (IT&C) phase of the project.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST, renamed in December 2013 from the Advanced Technology Solar
Telescope) will be the largest solar facility built when it begins operations in 2019. Designed and developed to meet the
needs of critical high resolution and high sensitivity spectral and polarimetric observations of the Sun, the observatory
will enable key research for the study of solar magnetism and its influence on the solar wind, flares, coronal mass
ejections and solar irradiance variations. The 4-meter class facility will operate over a broad wavelength range (0.38 to
28 microns, initially 0.38 to 5 microns), using a state-of-the-art adaptive optics system to provide diffraction-limited
imaging and the ability to resolve features approximately 25 km on the Sun. Five first-light instruments will be available
at the start of operations: Visible Broadband Imager (VBI; National Solar Observatory), Visible SpectroPolarimeter
(ViSP; NCAR High Altitude Observatory), Visible Tunable Filter (VTF; Kiepenheuer Institut für Sonnenphysik),
Diffraction Limited Near InfraRed SpectroPolarimeter (DL-NIRSP; University of Hawai’i, Institute for Astronomy) and
the Cryogenic Near InfraRed SpectroPolarimeter (Cryo-NIRSP; University of Hawai’i, Institute for Astronomy).
As of mid-2014, the key subsystems have been designed and fabrication is well underway, including the site
construction, which began in December 2012. We provide an update on the development of the facilities both on site at
the Haleakalā Observatories on Maui and the development of components around the world. We present the overall
construction and integration schedule leading to the handover to operations in mid 2019. In addition, we outline the
evolving challenges being met by the project, spanning the full spectrum of issues covering technical, fiscal, and
geographical, that are specific to this project, though with clear counterparts to other large astronomical construction
On successful completion of a conceptual design review by a funding agency or customer, there is a transition phase
before construction contracts can be placed. The nature of this transition phase depends on the Project's approach to
construction and the particular subsystem being considered.
There are generically two approaches; project retention of design authority and issuance of build to print contracts, or
issuance of subsystem performance specifications with controlled interfaces.
This paper relates to the latter where a proof of concept (conceptual or reference design) is translated into performance
based sub-system specifications for competitive tender. This translation is not a straightforward process and there are a
number of different issues to consider in the process. This paper deals with primarily the Telescope mount and Enclosure
The main subjects considered in this paper are:
• Typical status of design at Conceptual Design Review compared with the desired status of
Specifications and Interface Control Documents at Request for Quotation.
• Options for capture and tracking of system requirements flow down from science / operating
requirements and sub-system requirements, and functional requirements derived from reference
• Requirements that may come specifically from the contracting approach.
• Methods for effective use of reference design work without compromising a performance based
• Management of project team's expectation relating to design.
• Effects on cost estimates from reference design to actual.
This paper is based on experience and lessons learned through this process on both the VISTA and the ATST projects.
The National Solar Observatory’s (NSO) Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) is the first large U.S. solar telescope accessible to the worldwide solar physics community to be constructed in more than 30 years. The 4-meter diameter facility will operate over a broad wavelength range (0.35 to 28 μm ), employing adaptive optics systems to achieve diffraction limited imaging and resolve features approximately 20 km on the Sun; the key observational parameters (collecting area, spatial resolution, spectral coverage, polarization accuracy, low scattered light) enable resolution of the theoretically-predicted, fine-scale magnetic features and their dynamics which modulate the radiative output of the sun and drive the release of magnetic energy from the Sun’s atmosphere in the form of flares and coronal mass ejections. In 2010, the ATST received a significant fraction of its funding for construction. In the subsequent two years, the project has hired staff and opened an office on Maui. A number of large industrial contracts have been placed throughout the world to complete the detailed designs and begin constructing the major telescope subsystems. These contracts have included the site development, AandE designs, mirrors, polishing, optic support assemblies, telescope mount and coudé rotator structures, enclosure, thermal and mechanical systems, and high-level software and controls. In addition, design development work on the instrument suite has undergone significant progress; this has included the completion of preliminary design reviews (PDR) for all five facility instruments. Permitting required for physically starting construction on the mountaintop of Haleakalā, Maui has also progressed. This paper will review the ATST goals and specifications, describe each of the major subsystems under construction, and review the contracts and lessons learned during the contracting and early construction phases. Schedules for site construction, key factory testing of major subsystems, and integration, test and commissioning activities will also be discussed.
The ATST scientific instruments are located on benches installed on a large diameter rotating coud lab floor. The light path from the telescope to the instruments is greater than 38 meters and passes from external ambient conditions to the 'shirt-sleeve' environment of the coudé lab. In order to minimize any contribution to local seeing or wavefront distortion, two strategies are implemented. First, an air curtain is installed where the beam passes from ambient conditions to the lab space and second, the coudé lab environmental conditions are tightly controlled. This paper presents the design parameters of the environmental conditions, the basis of each design parameter, an overview of the equipment and components of the system planned to control those conditions, and the thermal and computational fluid dynamic analyses that have been performed in support of the system as designed.
The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) has recently received National Science Foundation (NSF) approval
to begin the construction process. ATST will be the most powerful solar telescope and the world's leading resource for
studying solar magnetism that controls the solar wind, flares, coronal mass ejections and variability in the Sun's output.
This paper gives an overview of the project, and describes the project management principles and practices that have
been developed to optimize both the project's success as well as meeting requirements of the project's funding agency.
The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) is a four-meter class instrument being built to perform diffractionlimited
observations of the sun. This paper describes how ATST has dealt with system safety and in particular hazard
analysis during the design and development (D&D) phase. For ATST the development of a system safety plan and the
oversight of the hazard analysis fell, appropriately, to systems engineering. We have adopted the methodology described
in MIL-STD-882E, "Standard Practice for System Safety." While these methods were developed for use by the U.S.
Department of Defense, they are readily applicable to the safety needs of telescope projects. We describe the details of
our process, how it was implemented by the ATST design team, and some useful lessons learned. We conclude with a
discussion of our safety related plans during the construction phase of ATST and beyond.
The 4m Advance Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) will be the most powerful solar telescope and the world's leading
ground-based resource for studying solar magnetism that controls the solar wind, flares, coronal mass ejections and
variability in the Sun's output. The project has successfully passed its final design review and the Environmental Impact
Study for construction of ATST on Haleakala, Maui, HI has been concluded in December of 2009. The project is now
entering its construction phase. As its highest priority science driver ATST shall provide high resolution and high
sensitivity observations of the dynamic solar magnetic fields throughout the solar atmosphere, including the corona at
infrared wavelengths. With its 4 m aperture, ATST will resolve features at 0."03 at visible wavelengths and obtain 0."1
resolution at the magnetically highly sensitive near infrared wavelengths. A high order adaptive optics system delivers a
corrected beam to the initial set of state-of-the-art, facility class instrumentation located in the coudé laboratory facility.
The initial set of first generation instruments consists of five facility class instruments, including imagers and spectropolarimeters.
The high polarimetric sensitivity and accuracy required for measurements of the illusive solar magnetic
fields place strong constraints on the polarization analysis and calibration. Development and construction of a fourmeter
solar telescope presents many technical challenges, including thermal control of the enclosure, telescope structure
and optics and wavefront control. A brief overview of the science goals and observational requirements of the ATST
will be given, followed by a summary of the design status of the telescope and its instrumentation, including design
status of major subsystems, such as the telescope mount assembly, enclosure, mirror assemblies, and wavefront
The four-meter Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) will be the most powerful solar telescope and the
world's leading resource for studying solar magnetism that controls the solar wind, flares, coronal mass ejections and
variability in the Sun's output. Development of a four-meter solar telescope presents many technical challenges (e.g.,
thermal control of the enclosure, telescope structure and optics). We give a status report of the ATST project (e.g.,
system design reviews, PDR, Haleakalä site environmental impact statement progress) and summarize the design of the
major subsystems, including the telescope mount assembly, enclosure, mirror assemblies, wavefront correction, and
The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) project is near the end of its design and development phase and
ready to begin construction. This paper describes the current status of ATST and a few of the lessons learned during
design and development from a systems-engineering perspective. It highlights some of the important differences
between nighttime and daytime solar observing with emphasis on the resulting impacts on telescope design and
operational concepts. We have had to adopt somewhat non-standard primary mirror polish specifications to support our
requirement to observe the sun's corona very close to solar limb. Our suite of image-quality error budgets are examined
to show the progression of system requirements that are derived from each use case, and the value of Monte Carlo
simulations as a means of controlling user expectations. We discuss PDMWorks® Enterprise and other elements of our
configuration management system as well as the tools we have developed (and are developing) to document the
requirements flow-down and to establish a trace-back mechanism. We expect to use this trace-back capability during
contract negotiations and later in the fabrication process to quickly assess the potential impact of any exceptions to our
specifications that may be requested by our vendors.
We present the details of an experimental apparatus built to explore wavefront distortion and its mitigation when an optical beam passes from one thermal environment into another. The experiment simulates a situation within the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) baseline design where the beam travels from an ambient-temperature environment into a thermostatically controlled "room temperature" environment. We found that an 8°C temperature difference between the two environments introduces about 125 nm rms of wavefront distortion. A double air curtain (one on each side of the boundary) reduces this to about 30 nm rms. We also showed that the high-order (>1300 DoF) adaptive optics system which is integral to the ATST design will be able to further reduce this to about 5 nm rms, well within our initial error budget.
An important part of a large solar telescope is the ability to correct, in real time, optical alignment errors caused by gravitational bending of the telescope structure and wavefront errors caused by atmospheric seeing. The National Solar Observatory is currently designing the 4 meter Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST). The ATST wavefront correction system, described in this paper, will incorporate a number of interacting wavefront control systems to provide diffraction limited imaging performance. We will describe these systems and summarize the interaction between the various sub-systems and present results of performance modeling.
The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) is a complex off-axis Gregorian design to be used for solar astronomy. In order the counteract the effects of mirror and telescope structure flexure, the ATST requires an active optics alignment strategy. This paper presents an active optics alignment strategy that uses three wavefront sensors distributed in the ATST field-of-view to form a least-squares alignment solution with respect to RMS wavefront error. The least squares solution is realized by means of a damped least squares linear reconstructor. The results of optical modelling simulations are presented for the ATST degrees-of-freedom subject to random perturbations. Typical results include residual RMS wavefront errors less than 20 nm. The results quoted include up to 25 nm RMS wavefront sensor signal noise, random figure errors on the mirrors up to 500 nm amplitude, random decenter range up to 500 μm, and random tilts up to 10e - 03 degrees (36 arc-secs) range.
Telescope enclosure design is based on an increasingly standard set of criteria. Enclosures must provide failsafe protection in a harsh environment for an irreplaceable piece of equipment; must allow effective air flushing to minimize local seeing while still attenuating wind-induced vibration of the telescope; must reliably operate so that the dome is never the reason for observatory down time; must provide access to utilities, lifting devices and support facilities; and they must be affordable within the overall project budget. The enclosure for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) has to satisfy all these challenging requirements plus one more. To eliminate so-called external dome seeing, the exterior surfaces of the enclosure must be maintained at or just below ambient air temperature while being subjected to the full solar loading of an observing day. Further complicating the design of the ATST enclosure and support facilities are the environmental sensitivities and high construction costs at the selected site - the summit of Haleakala on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Previous development work has determined an appropriate enclosure shape to minimize solar exposure while allowing effective interior flushing, and has demonstrated the feasibility of controlling the exterior skin temperature with an active cooling system. This paper presents the evolution of the design since site selection and how the enclosure and associated thermal systems have been tailored to the particular climatic and terrain conditions of the site. Also discussed are load-reduction strategies that have been identified through thermal modeling, CFD modeling, and other analyses to refine and economize the thermal control systems.
The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) will be the most powerful solar telescope and the world's leading resource for studying solar magnetism that controls the solar wind, flares, coronal mass ejections and variability in the Sun's output. Development of this four-meter off-axis solar telescope has presented many optical design challenges including:
• support of both Nasmyth and flexible coude lab instrumentation,
• incorporation of an integrated adaptive optics system,
• thermal control of optics, and
• optical alignment of multiple off-axis conics.
This paper gives an overview of the optical design, error budgeting, and the performance modeling done to ensure the telescope will satisfy its optical performance requirements.
The four-meter Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) will be the most powerful solar telescope and the world's leading resource for studying solar magnetism that controls the solar wind, flares, coronal mass ejections and variability in the Sun's output. Development of a four-meter solar telescope presents many technical challenges (e.g., thermal control of the enclosure, telescope structure and optics). We give a status report of the ATST project (e.g., system design reviews, instrument PDR, Haleakala site environmental impact statement progress) and summarize the design of the major subsystems, including the telescope mount assembly, enclosure, mirror assemblies, wavefront correction, and instrumentation.
When constructed on the summit of Haleakala on the island of Maui, Hawaii, the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) will be the world's largest solar telescope. The ATST is a unique design that utilizes a state-of-the-art off-axis Gregorian optical layout with five reflecting mirrors delivering light to a Nasmyth instrument rotator, and nine reflecting mirrors delivering light to an instrument suite located on a large diameter rotating coude lab.
The design of the telescope mount structure, which supports and positions the mirrors and scientific instruments, has presented noteworthy challenges to the ATST engineering staff. Several novel design solutions, as well as adaptations of existing telescope technologies to the ATST application, are presented in this paper. Also shown are plans for the control system and drives of the structure.
The four-meter Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) will be the most powerful solar telescope and the world's leading resource for studying solar magnetism that controls the solar wind, flares, coronal mass ejections and variability in the Sun's output. Development of a four-meter solar telescope presents many technical challenges, which include: thermal control of optics and telescope structure; contamination control of the primary mirror to achieve low scattered light levels for coronal observations; control of instrumental polarization to allow accurate and precise polarimetric observations of solar magnetic fields; and high-order solar adaptive optics that uses solar granulation as the wavefront sensing target in order to achieve diffraction limited imaging and spectroscopy. We give a status report of the ATST project focusing on the substantial progress that has been made with the design of the ATST. We summarize the design of the major subsystems, including the enclosure, the primary and secondary mirror assemblies, the coude and Nasmyth focal stations, adaptive optics and instrumentation. The site selection has been successfully concluded and we discuss areas where the site selection impacts the design.
The 4-m aperture Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) is the next generation ground based solar telescope. In this paper we provide an overview of the ATST post-focus instrumentation. The majority of ATST instrumentation is located in an instrument Coude lab facility, where a rotating platform provides image de-rotation. A high order adaptive optics system delivers a corrected beam to the Coude lab facility. Alternatively, instruments can be mounted at Nasmyth or a small Gregorian area. For example, instruments for observing the faint corona preferably will be mounted at Nasmyth focus where maximum throughput is achieved. In addition, the Nasmyth focus has minimum telescope polarization and minimum stray light. We describe the set of first generation instruments, which include a Visible-Light Broadband Imager (VLBI), Visible and Near-Infrared (NIR) Spectropolarimeters, Visible and NIR Tunable Filters, a Thermal-Infrared Polarimeter & Spectrometer and a UV-Polarimeter. We also discuss unique and efficient approaches to the ATST instrumentation, which builds on the use of common components such as detector systems, polarimetry packages and various opto-mechanical components.
The Advance Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) has finished its conceptual design stage, submitted a proposal for construction funding and is working towards a system level preliminary design review later this year. The current concept (including integrated adaptive optics and instrumentation) will be reviewed with concentration on solutions to the unique engineering challenges for a four meter solar telescope that have been previously presented. The overall status will be given with a concentration on near term milestones and impact on final completion targeted in 2012.
We describe and demonstrate a telescope performance model based on Monte Carlo simulations. As a specific example, we apply this method to our delivered image quality error budgets for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST). The ATST site survey database provides us with probability distributions for parameters that affect image quality, like wind velocity and Fried’s seeing parameter. The histograms characterizing these parameters can be sampled many times randomly to yield fact-based predictions of system performance. From this we are able to estimate the fraction of the time that a given site will meet or exceed the performance goals of the telescope. The calculations are performed using Crystal Ball, an after-market add-in for Microsoft Excel marketed by Decisioneering, Inc. of Denver Colorado.
The enclosure for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) is both a wind shield and a source of seeing. Its design must minimize self-induced seeing while remaining within cost constraints and balancing with other error budget items. We report the methods used to quantify seeing performance, including thermal modeling, seeing estimation, and systems engineering error budgets. Thermal modeling is performed using a commercial software package that applies measured site weather data to a CAD-generated enclosure model. Seeing estimation is performed using a simple aerodynamic treatment. The results, along with measured site wind and temperature distributions, are combined into a "bottom-up" performance prediction using Monte Carlo techniques.
The 4m ATST will be the most powerful solar telescope in the world, providing a unique scientific tool to study the Sun and other astronomical objects. The design and development phase for the Advance Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) is progressing. The conceptual design review (CoDR) for the ATST is scheduled for August 2003. We present a brief description of the science requirements of ATST, and remind the reader of some of the technical challenges of building a 4-m solar telescope. We will discuss some of the design strategies that will allow us to achieve the required performance specifications, present conceptual designs for the ATST, and summarize the results of trades we have made on our path to the CoDR. The thermal impacts to local, self-induced seeing with respect to some of our system level trades that have been completed will be discussed.
The 4m Advance Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) will be the most powerful solar telescope in the world, providing a unique scientific tool to study the Sun and possibly other astronomical objects, such as solar system planets. We briefly summarize the science drivers and observational requirements of ATST. The main focus of this paper is on the many technical challenges involved in designing a large aperture solar telescope. The ATST project has entered the design and development phase. Development of a 4-m solar telescope presents many technical challenges. Most existing high-resolution solar telescopes are designed as vacuum telescopes to avoid internal seeing caused by the solar heat load. The large aperture drives the ATST to an open-air design, similar to night-time telescope designs, and makes thermal control of optics and telescope structure a paramount consideration. A heat stop must reject most of the energy (13 kW) at prime focus without introducing internal seeing. To achieve diffraction-limited observations at visible and infrared wavelengths, ATST will have a high order (order 1000 DoF) adaptive optics system using solar granulation as the wavefront sensing target. Coronal observations require occulting in prime focus, a Lyot stop and contamination control of the primary. An initial set of instruments will be designed as integral part of the telescope. First telescope design and instrument concepts will be presented.