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Published April 2022 | Published
Journal Article Open

Management of equipment vibration for extremely large telescopes


Management of equipment vibration will be a challenge for the upcoming generation of extremely large telescopes (ELTs) (GMT, TMT, and ESO's ELT) and is being dealt with proactively by all three projects. We document the approaches, techniques, and future efforts by all three ELTs in their attempts to manage vibration in their telescopes. We detail the approaches to developing component requirements, characterizing vibration sources, simulating telescope structural movements, and approaches to mitigating source vibrations. We illustrate the iterative approach taken by the three observatories with several examples of concrete processes, measurements, and other details of use to future observatories.

Additional Information

© 2022 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Received: 7 December 2021; Accepted: 13 May 2022; Published: 6 June 2022. TMT: The TMT Project gratefully acknowledges the support of the TMT collaborating institutions. They are the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the National Astronomical Observatories of China and their consortium partners, the Department of Science and Technology of India and their supported institutes, and the National Research Council of Canada. This work was supported as well by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA), the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), the U.S. National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Natural Sciences of Japan, and the Department of Atomic Energy of India. GMT: The authors at GMTO would like to thank all those involved at GMTO who have contributed in various aspects including (in alphabetical order) George Angeli, Dave Ashby, Rod Conan, Christoph Dribusch, Oliver McIrwin, Gary Muller, Rodrigo Romano, and Peter Thompson. We would also like to thank those at Noise Control Engineering and Quartus Engineering for their help with development of early vibration budgets. Finally, a thanks goes to Benjamin Irarrazaval who helped guide preliminary M1 fan vibration tests featured in Sec. 3.2.2. Vibration measurements and development of the antivibration mounts were done with the help of Warrick Schofield, Annino Vaccarella, Nick Herrald, and Ian Price. This work has been supported by the GMTO Corporation, a nonprofit organization operated on behalf of an international consortium of universities and institutions: Arizona State University, Astronomy Australia Ltd., the Australian National University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Harvard University, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, the São Paulo Research Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, the University of Arizona, the University of Chicago, and the Weizmann Institute of Science. ESO's ELT: The main authors from ESO would like to thank the whole team of the ELT vibration working group and related collaborators for their contributions to this extensive design, simulation, and measurement program. Each of them is recognized as a deserved co-author of this paper. Credits go to (alphabetical order) Matteo Accardo, Marcus Haug, Yannick Lammen, Ulrich Lampater, Serban Leveratto, Michael Mueller, Dan Pilbauer, and Pablo Zuluaga for their excellent engineering support. The authors declare that they have no relevant financial interests in the manuscript, and no other conflicts of interest to disclose. This paper was dedicated to the memory of Hugh Thompson: not only a talented Systems Engineer, but also a great friend and colleague to many across the telescope community.

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August 22, 2023
September 11, 2023