3D Finite Element Thermal and Structural Analysis of the RT-70 Full-Circle Radio Telescope

In the current paper finite element modeling and analysis of deformed state of the radio telescope RT-70 main reflector is performed. The construction is loaded by gravity body force and temperatures originating in the main reflector under the action of solar heat. Radio telescope RT-70 is one of the biggest radio telescopes in the world; diameter of the main reflector is 70 m, its height is 50 m. The hierarchical sequence of FE models was developed to describe in details and analyze temperature and displacement fields originating in the radio telescope RT-70 by means of direct FE modeling. With use of ANSYS software finite element models were developed that include three main construction elements of the radio telescope: - Main reflector (simulated by 1188 thin shell elements number of that is equal to the number of facets in the radio telescope); - Structural frame (simulated by means of ~ 13 000 beam elements); - Counter-reflector (simulated by means of thin shells and 3D solid elements). Developed mathematical and 3D finite element models enabled to compute displacements and temperatures in the points of RT-70 radio telescope main reflector for various climate conditions (Yevpatoria, Crimea; Suffa plateau, Uzbekistan). To verify the results of simulation the comparison with experimental data obtained as a result of experimental analysis of RT-70 telescope located in Yevpatoria, Crimea was fulfilled. The importance of results obtained and high degree of finite element results correspondence with experimental data show that computer simulation is essential during radio telescopes design. Such simulation could be used to estimate displacements and temperatures originating in the radio telescope under various external loads. Mathematical and 3D finite element models developed are applied for analysis and design of RT-70 radio telescope that is being built at Suffa plateau, Uzbekistan.

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