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Inexpensive mount for a large millimeter-wavelength telescope

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Abstract

A telescope mount with a single-point force support at the center of gravity of the primary mirror is proposed in order to eliminate much of the structure and cost of a large, millimeter-wavelength telescope. The single-point support gives repeatable thermal and gravitational deformation, so the surface of the primary can be controlled based on lookup tables for elevation and temperature. The new design is most appropriate for a survey telescope because locating the support above the vertex of the primary limits the range of motion of the mount to about 1 rad. A 30 m diameter, λ=850μm telescope with the proposed mount is a factor of 4 lighter than a design with a conventional elevation-over-azimuth mount, and roughly half the cost.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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