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Research Progress in Thermal Control of the Primary Mirror of Large Aperture Telescope

As a main equipment to explore space, the telescope plays an immeasurable role in the development of human civilization. With the development of science and technology, scientists require the telescope with higher resolution. The resolution of a telescope is proportional to its caliber. However, with the increase of the caliber, the thermal environment of outer surface of the primary mirror is more complicated. The thermal inertia of the primary mirror is larger at the same time. This leads to the more obvious the lag of the primary mirror temperature relative to the ambient temperature. Meanwhile the temperature gradient inside the primary mirror becomes lager. All of these seriously affect the imaging quality of the telescope system. The traditional thermal control method of the primary mirror has been unable to meet the requirements of the seeing of primary mirror and the shape accuracy of reflective surface. Therefore, designing an effective primary mirror thermal control method has become the primary task of the telescope thermal control system design.

In order to solve this problem, the researchers, who are in the group of Dr.Ren and Dr.Wang of the Institute of Optics and Electronics (IOE, CAS), proposed a new primary mirror thermal control system scheme by simulating and analyzing the thermal environment of the primary mirror. In this scheme, a flow field control system, which includes an air blowing system for inflating the edge of the reflector and an axial fan of the axial bore, was added to the top of the primary mirror. By controlling the intake air temperature, inlet pressure, and fan speed, the system can form a uniform thermal boundary layer with a tightly controlled temperature and temperature above the reflective surface, which successfully stabilizes the temperature difference between the reflector and the environment within 2. As a result, the shape accuracy of the telescope reflector becomes stable. This study can be applied to the relevant optoelectronic devices.

说明: http://www.ioe.ac.cn/xwdt/kydt/201709/W020170905577789159720.jpg

Stimulation results of the air-knife thermal control system of the primary mirror.

The study was supported by the National 863 Program and related projects of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Related research results have been published in international conferences and journals such as SPIE and Springer.


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