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Published August 1977 | Submitted
Report Open

A 10-Meter Telescope for Millimeter and Sub-Millimeter Astronomy


The design and construction of a prototype 10.4 meter, f/0.4 telescope intended for millimeter- and submillimeter-wave astronomy is described, with particular emphasis on design features, fabrication techniques, and error sources. The surface accuracy attained on a prototype dish was about 50 µm rms; on the first of four "production" dishes, about 25 µm rms; the goal for at least one of the four dishes is to be 10 µm rms or less. The reflecting surface is sheet aluminum cemented to accurately machined honeycomb panels. The 84 demountable panels are supported on a tubular steel- framework which is itself disassemblable into a few easily transportable pieces. A notable feature is that the dish may be disassembled and reassembled without significant loss of accuracy and without need for later readjustment, although the means for readjustment are provided. The mount is of the altazimuth fork type and has an initial absolute pointing accuracy of 6 - 10" and a tracking accuracy of 1 - 2" in the absence of strong wind gusts, which degrade the tracking accuracy somewhat. The telescope, operated in an f/4.2 cassegrain mode at 230 GHz, has a system effeciency greater than 50 percent. Three such telescopes are to be installed at Owens Valley Radio Observatory and used as a millimeter-wave aperture synthesis radio interferometer. A fourth telescope, of especially high dish accuracy, is to be built and tested at OVRO and later moved to a high, dry mountain site for submillimeter infrared and radio astronomy.

Additional Information

Any complex technical enterprise, even a relatively modest one like this, requires the substantial participation of many skilled persons and might not succeed at all without the essential contributions of a special few. Extending as it did over several years from concept to completion, the present project involved so many persons directly or indirectly, that it would be most difficult to acknowledge all the individuals who contributed significantly to it. The following partial list recognizes some of those who made special contributions. Professional: Engineering and Design: Bruce Rule: Victor Ehrgott: Robert Lyon: Walter Schaal: Dish and mounting design concepts Mount design layout Fabrication concepts and initial tooling Detail design Mechanical and Fabrication: David Vail: Walter Schaal: Dish fabrication and technical supervision Mount fabrication Computer Hardware and Software: Martin Ewing: H. Wayne Hammond: Barbara Zimmerman: Technical: Joseph Lyvers: Larry Van Stone: Jeffrey Clark: OVRO Staff: Computer system concepts Computer operating system software FORTH Language software Prototype dish fabrication Prototype dish fabrication DISH 1 fabrication and surface measurements Telescope Assembly, Wiring, and Adjustment: O. Wayne Hutton: Chick O. Lackore: Ronald E. Allen: Mechanical and supervision Mechanical and assembly Electrical layout and wiring Student Technicians: John Bean: Raymond Waldo: Michael Norman: Donald Macglashen: Eric Tollestrup: Kurt Tollestrup: Robert Calvet: Isabella Lewis: Norman Murray: 3-meter dish and early 10-meter prototype parts Prototype dish fabrication Prototype dish fabrication Prototype dish fabrication DISH 1 fabrication DISH 1 fabrication DISH 1 and DISH 2 fabrication DISH 2 fabrication DISH 2 fabrication Faculty and Research Investigators: Co-investigators Alan Moffet: Gerry Neugebauer: Research Investigators: Thomas Phillips: Peter Wannier: Electrical system design Infrared instrumentation (Bell Laboratories) Receiver design and 1 millimeter measurements Receiver design and fabrication

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August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023