Las Cumbres Observatory

ANSYS is a sponsor of the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope. The Las Cumbres telescope is unique in that it will consist of at least a dozen robotically operated, nearly-identical 1-meter telescopes evenly distributed around the planet. LCOGT uses ANSYS Mechanical software to model structural deflection, optical deflection, and thermal characteristics of the telescopes.

Creating a robotic network of high precision optical instruments requires extremely low tolerances and a high level of consistency across materials. A telescope combines structural and support elements with optical components in a closely monitored and managed thermal environment. Equipment must perform within narrow scientific specifications at multiple locations across the globe. ANSYS Mechanical software is ideal for modeling materials, temperature, and operational loads.

Las Cumbres Observatory was founded in 1992 by Wayne Rosing. The organization is nonprofit, developing a global telescope network for scientific and educational use. Las Cumbres owns and operates the two 2-meter Faulkes telescopes, installed the first 1-meter telescope in early 2012 at McDonald Observatory, and will install as many as 9 more 1-meter telescopes in the Southern Hemisphere this year (2012). A network of 40-centimeter educational and scientific follow-up telescopes will also be sited in the next two years. The resulting network will focus on exoplanet, supernovae, near-earth objects, and other time domain targets.

The following images of finite element analysis completed on the telescope C-ring verified an adequate safety factor for failure, determined stiffness of vibration modes, and modeled gravity deflections through full rotation.

LCOGT C-Ring.JPG - Rendering of the telescope C-ring

LCOGT C-Ring.JPG - Rendering of the telescope C-ring

LCOGT C-Ring Failure Analysis.JPG - Failure analysis

>

LCOGT C-Ring Failure Analysis.JPG - Failure analysis

LCOGT C-Ring Directional Deformation.JPG - Deformation study

LCOGT C-Ring Directional Deformation - Deformation study

For more information, visit www.lcogt.net.

We keep you in the dark!


Las Cumbres Observatory

Wayne Rosling, President
6749 Cortona Drive
Suite 102
Galetta, CA 93117

Mike Falarski, Director of Engineering
mfalarski@lcogt.com
Phone: 805-880-1880