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25 August 1998 Extremely large telescope: further adventures in feasibility
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Should the astronomical community pursue development of telescopes 10 times larger than the 8 and 10 meter individual and arrayed telescopes currently under development or recently commissioned? The question devolves into two parts: Is construction of such a telescope feasible from an engineering and cost standpoint? Does the scientific benefit justify the probable cost of such development? An Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) has previously been proposed based on the Arecibo type design employed in the recently completed Hobby Eberly Telescope. Analysis of the performance and scientific viability of the ELT shows that it can have an important role in near and IR spectroscopy for cosmology providing that stringent image and background performance requirements are met. Further development of engineering design and interaction with the manufacturing community conclusively shows that not only is such a telescope feasible, but that the entire observatory can be constructed for of order $DLR250 million at a site likely to provide optimal optical seeing. It remains an issue for the scientific community to judge whether such capability provides benefits commensurate with the costs.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Thomas A. Sebring, Frank N. Bash, Frank B. Ray, and Lawrence W. Ramsey "Extremely large telescope: further adventures in feasibility", Proc. SPIE 3352, Advanced Technology Optical/IR Telescopes VI, (25 August 1998);


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