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The Design of the Keck Observatory and Telescope

Nelson, Jerry E. and Mast, Terry S. and Faber, Sandra M. (1985) The Design of the Keck Observatory and Telescope. Keck Observatory Report, 90. Caltech , Pasadena, CA. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130225-104253452

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Abstract

This report describes the design of the Ten Meter Telescope and Observatory. Since 1977 the University of California has been actively designing a ten meter telescope for visible and infrared ground-based astronomy. The University of California and the California Institute of Technology have now joined in a collaboration to construct and operate this telescope and observatory. A generous gift of seventy million dollars to Caltech from the W. M. Keck Foundation, announced in January 1985, will provide funds for the construction of the facility. In recognition the facility will be named the W. M. Keck Telescope and Observatory. The University of California will provide funds for its operation. We expect construction to be completed by 1990. The design of the telescope and observatory continues to be improved as the detailed design progresses. The description given here is current as of January 1985. Although many design details will change before construction, this description is accurate in the general concept and in many particulars. The details of the design are described in an ongoing series of Reports and Technical Notes. An index to this series is given in the Reference Section of this report.


Item Type:Report or Paper (Report)
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Alternate Title:The Design of the Keck Observatory and Telescope (Ten Meter Telescope)
Additional Information:The design of the Ten Meter Telescope has captured the imagination of many people over the past seven years. Many have contributed their ideas, their critical judgment, their time, and their labor. This report describes the design they have created. The design of the telescope, building, and dome is now well defined. A great many details remain to be added and many aspects of the present design will be modified. However, the design as it now stands is a great and essential step toward creating an innovative and unique instrument for extending the frontiers of astronomy. The existence of the project was made possible by the generous financial and political support and personal interest of David Saxon, William Fretter, William Frazer, David Gardner, Jim Albertson, Eugene Trefethen, Andrew Sessler, Dave Shirley, Robert Birge, Robert Kraft, and Don Osterbrock. The administration of the statewide effort has been a difficult task and the efforts of the Executive Management Committee made this possible. The committee has been under the direction of Harold Ticho and its membership included Robert Kraft, Len Kuhi, Raymond Orbach, Roderic Park, Manuel Rotenberg, David Shirley, and Robert Sinsheimer. The administration of the project required a great deal more than policy committees. The day to day work was accomplished by the heroics of Joe Calmes, Marlene Couture, Barbara Schaefer, Nancy Sherwin, and Teresa Yuen. The crucial and active contributions from astronomers to the design have been largely through the efforts of an Astronomy Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Harding E. Smith. Members of the committee included Marc Davis, Sandra Faber, Holland Ford, Barbara Jones, Ivan King, Lloyd Robinson, Roger Ulrich, Steve White, and Edward Wright. In addition valuable guidance from other members of the astronomical community came from Larry Barr, David Cudaback, Harland Epps, Keith Matthews, Aden and Marjorie Meine!, Larry Randall, Dave Rank, Maarten Schmidt, Charles Townes, Steve Vogt, Merle Walker, Joseph Wampler. The design of the observatory building and dome has passed through several concepts and several architectural firms in the last six years. Beginning with John Wells of Hunt and Company the design now also includes the work of Richard Rose and Robert Hoggan, and from the current architectural firm of MBT; Lee Van de Kerchove, Peter Hockaday, and Ethan Clifton. Thermal analyses of the dome and telescope have been made by Bill Carroll and Craig Conners. The optical design of the telescope has been primarily made by Harland Epps, Sandra Faber and Jerry Nelson. The design of the telescope structure, created by Stefan Medwadowski and Jacob Lubliner is unique in telescope history. They were assisted by Jose Sandoval and David McCormack. The mechanical design of the telescope system was created by Jack Osborne, Fred Hendy, Hans Boesgaard, and Robert Weitzmann. The segmented primary mirror is the most innovative aspect of the telescope. Most of the technical effort since 1977 has been directed toward the development and testing of the support and control system. The analysis of the design has been made by Jerry Nelson, Terry Mast, Michael Budiansky, Barney Oliver, and William J. Welch. A major portion of the ideas, design, and testing was provided by George Gabor and Bob Weitzmann. They were supported in their efforts with the skilled work of Bob Minor, AI Biocca, Tom Merrick, and Dan Meier. The finite element analysis and optimization of the segment passive support system has been accomplished through the efforts of Alex Asfura, Michael Budiansky, Bijan Iraninejad, and Robert Taylor. The complexity of the mirror support system required the ideas and hard work of a great many people. The Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the Space Sciences Laboratory have been ideal facilities for this development. Members of these laboratories who have made significant and continuing contributions to the project include Steve Abbott, AI Arthur, John Bercowitz, Jack Borde, Mike Breen, Larry Brown, John Carrieri, Andy Dubois, Jack Franck, Leif Hansen, Dick Jared, Ken Lou, Duane Norgren, and Ted Scalise. The hardware needed for the tests were built by the LBL and SSL shops, with particular help from Mike Long and Hudson Winslow. The fabrication of the segments is one of the greatest challenges of the design. Beginning with the ideas and suggestions of Luis Alvarez and Jacob Lubliner, the method of stressed mirror polishing was developed by Lubiner and Nelson. A great many people then contributed to the demonstrations showing the method could be used to fabricate the TMT segments. These included the special contributions from Julius Meckel and Roland Wolf at Tinsley Laboratories and the work of Terry Mast, Jerry Nelson, Deborah Haber, Leslie Hunt, Barbara Schaefer, Nancy Sherwin, and Robin Lieberthal at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. At Kitt Peak National Observatory the efforts of Larry Barr, Lew Golden, John Richardson, Gary Poczulp, Ker-li Shu, and Joe Magner demonstrated the method on a full-sized mirror. Students at the University have also made contributions to the design and testing of components. These include David Blakely, Eva Chow, Jim Kaufman, David Nelson, Susan Ottke, Arvin Park, Jim Patterson, Mark Temple-Raston, Don Terndrup, Maurizio Vecchione, and Richard Yang. For the final stages of the design phase and now as we move into the construction phase the project is under the able direction of the Project Manager Gerald M. Smith. Many of those named above also have contributed to this report. The bulk of the writing and the final editing of the report were the work of Jerry Nelson, Terry Mast, and Sandra Faber.
Subject Keywords:Keck Observatory
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Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:25 Feb 2013 19:09
Last Modified:25 Feb 2013 19:31

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