The NASA Outrigger Telescope Project is a ground-based component of NASA's Navigator Program. The proposed project would utilize four to six 1.8-meter telescopes with co-rotating domes configured as an interferometer. One of the project’s scientific goals is the detection of exoplanets, which would be accomplished with long baseline narrow-angle astrometry. This astrometry mode would be able to detect Uranus mass planets up to 60 light years away. The requirements of narrow-angle astrometry, both technically and operationally, levy requirements on the telescopes and enclosures, including, for example, wavefront quality, pivot stability, and slew speed. This paper will describe these requirements and how they were achieved in the design. It will also discuss the testing and verification of these requirements. Actual telescope performance as tested at EOS Technologies is presented elsewhere in these proceedings.
We present the outline and the current status of the MAGNUM automated observation system. The operational objective of the MAGNUM Project is to carry out long-term multi-color monitoring observations of active galactic nuclei in the visible and near-infrared wavelength regions. In order to obtain these observations, we built a new 2 m optical-infrared telescope, and sited it at the University of Hawaii's Haleakala Observatory on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. Preliminary observations were started early in 2001. We are working toward the final form of the MAGNUM observation system, which is an unmanned, automated observatory. This system requirement was set by considering that the observation procedures are relatively simple, and the targets must be observed consistently over many years.
In the year 2000, EOS Technologies, Inc. of Tucson, Arizona will complete six two-meter class telescopes for astronomy. Applications for these telescopes range from monitoring of active-galactic nuclei to the search for extra-solar planets. Four of the telescopes will form part of the Keck International Project. These telescopes meet the highest tracking and axis interaction specifications ever attempted in a two-meter class telescope. Each of these telescopes is capable of fully remote-control and semi-autonomous operation.
The use of closed cycle cryogenic refrigerators in astronomical applications has been limited due to vibration problems. A closed cycle cooler system to cool instruments to about 50 K and the detectors below 20 K has been designed. The design uses two cold heads diametrically opposed to cancel vibration input to both the telescope and the instrument optical system. The use of vibration damping material to isolate the cold heads results in a nominally vibration free system. A reduction in low frequency vibration amplitude approaching three orders of magnitude was witnessed. This has been demonstrated both in the laboratory and while the system was operating on a telescope.