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28 September 2004 Status of the Euro50 Project
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The Euro50 is an extremely large telescope for optical and infrared wavelength with a 50 m primary mirror. It has a segmented, aspherical primary mirror and an aspherical, deformable secondary in a Gregorian layout. A tentative conceptual design exists and has been documented in a study report. Recent activities have concentrated on the science case for extremely large telescopes in the 50 m class and on identification of potential technical "show stoppers". The science case investigation has identified four fields of particular interest. The studies of critical technical issues have concentrated on atmospheric dispersion effects for high-resolution adaptive optics for extremely large telescopes, and on the influence of wind and other disturbances on wavefront control. Wind load on the telescope, the primary mirror and the enclosure has been studied using wind tunnel measurements and computational fluid dynamics. The impact of wind on the total system has been investigated using an integrated model that includes the telescope structure, the primary mirror segment alignment system, the secondary mirror alignment system, and single conjugate adaptive optics using the deformable secondary mirror. The first, tentative results show that wind disturbances may be significant and that the task of correcting for wind residuals may be at least as large for the adaptive optics system as that of correcting for atmospheric aberrations. The results suggest that use of extremely large telescopes for observations of earth-like planets around nearby stars may imply a considerable challenge.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.


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