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Proceedings Paper

How to calibrate edge sensors on segmented mirror telescopes
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Paper Abstract

The next generation of large ground based telescopes use segmented mirrors. Sensors mounted on the edge of the segments measure the relative heights of the segments. The segments are actively controlled in height by three actuators per segment, but lateral motion is only passively constrained. Thus there will be some small change in the gap and shear between segments as changing telescope orientation and temperature make small distortions in the telescope structure. These "in-plane" motions place an additional performance burden on the edge sensors, and on the precision with which they must be mounted relative to the optical surface. In addition, both the scaling and offset of sensor edge height readings also vary with changes in gap. Our method for correcting the in-plane motion induced errors in the primary mirror has three parts. First, the edge sensors are modified to report segment-to-segment gap, as well as the height difference, to make the in-plane segment positions observable. Second, the mirror segments are phased optically, at a set of zenith angles and temperatures, to give a set of "measured sensor readings". Finally, during observing, a calibration procedure combines these data into "desired sensor readings" which are optimal for the current telescope state. We have included this calibration process in a control loop model of the Thirty Meter Telescope primary mirror control system. We present our calibration method and the model.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2012
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 844460 (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926919
Show Author Affiliations
Chris Shelton, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Lewis C. Roberts Jr., Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8444:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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