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6 July 2018 Structural design techniques applied in astronomical instruments
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We present in this article some of the techniques applied at the Instituto de Astronomía of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IA-UNAM) to the mechanical structural design for astronomical instruments. With this purpose we use two recent projects developed by the Instrumentation Department. The goal of this work is to give guidelines about support structures design for achieving a faster and accurate astronomical instruments design. The main guidelines that lead all the design stages for instrument subsystems are the high-level requirements and the overall specifications. From these, each subsystem needs to get its own requirements, specifications, modes of operation, relative position, tip/tilt angles, and general tolerances. Normally these values are stated in the error budget of the instrument. Nevertheless, the error budget is dynamic, it is changing constantly. Depending on the manufacturing accuracy achieved, the error budget is again distributed. That is why having guidelines for structural design helps to know some of the limits of tolerances in manufacture and assembly. The error budget becomes then a quantified way for the interaction between groups; it is the key for teamwork.
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