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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Conceptual design and comparative study of very large telescope encluosures Sun, Meng

Abstract

The goal of the very large optical telescope (VLOT) project is to design and construct a 20 m segmented mirror telescope, which will surpass the limits of the current generation of telescopes. This significant expansion of the telescope's geometry will present many design and fabrication challenges simply through its sheer size of the structure and demand for fine accuracy. The telescope enclosure is a crucial component of the VLOT project; its feasibility will have a great effect in whether or not a project of this magnitude will ever see the light of day. The aim of this thesis is to determine an optimal enclosure design for the VLOT by comparing previous designs along with newer, innovative designs. A thorough investigation will be performed by an in-depth examination of available research material, conceptual designs, structural analysis and decision analysis. A review of telescopes as they have developed through out history will be conducted to illustrate the significance of VLOT's influence on the future of astronomy. Moreover, by collecting information on current design cases and ideas regarding telescope enclosures, an information database of enclosure designs will be prepared, providing valuable references for the VLOT enclosure development. Conceptual deigns of various types of potential VLOT enclosures are examined in this thesis. The telescope enclosure designs will be primarily based on structural safety and serviceability performance criteria. Furthermore, a finite element analysis will provide valuable insight into each enclosure design explored. Characteristics of enclosure designs are compared from various perspectives. With respect to the comparative analysis results, a comprehensive decision analysis will be used to determine the final optimal solution. The work within this thesis will provide academic and engineering references for the further development of the VLOT project.

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