From ESO: “ELT Primary Mirror Prepares to Flex its Muscles”

ESO 50 Large

European Southern Observatory

19 June 2017
Marc Cayrel
ESO
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6685
mcayrel@eso.org

Oliver Dietzel
Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG
Karlsruhe, Germany
Tel: +49 721 4846-2032
O.Dietzel@pi.de

Peter Grimley
ESO Assistant Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6383
pgrimley@partner.eso.org

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ESO has signed a contract with the German company Physik Instrumente GmbH & Co. KG, based in Karlsruhe, to construct the position actuators (PACTs) that will adjust the positions of the 798 hexagonal segments of the primary mirror of ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT).

The segments that make up the ELT’s enormous 39-metre main mirror will be connected to the main telescope structure via a support system (ann15003), of which the PACTs are fundamental components. Each segment, some 1.4 metres across and weighing 250 kg will be mounted on three PACTs — meaning 2394 in total. The PACTs will support the segment and actively control its position in three directions, known as piston, tip and tilt. The control system of the ELT primary mirror will initiate tiny adjustments to the PACTs to maintain the mirror’s overall shape, correcting for deformations which may be caused by changes in telescope elevation, temperature and wind forces, as well as limiting the effects of vibrations.
More Information

Physik Instrumente has worked with ESO before, providing the hexapods that align the subreflectors to the large main reflectors of the radio telescopes that make up the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

See the full article here .

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ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

ESO LaSilla
ESO/Cerro LaSilla 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

ESO VLT
VLT at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

ESO Vista Telescope
ESO/Vista Telescope at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

ESO NTT
ESO/NTT at Cerro LaSilla 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

ESO VLT Survey telescope
VLT Survey Telescope at Cerro Paranal with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

ALMA Array
ALMA on the Chajnantor plateau at 5,000 metres

ESO E-ELT
ESO/E-ELT to be built at Cerro Armazones at 3,060 m

ESO APEX
APEX Atacama Pathfinder 5,100 meters above sea level, at the Llano de Chajnantor Observatory in the Atacama desert

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