31 Oct

Control system for adjusting European Extremely Large Telescope's mirror segments

  • Sensing and Control Systems
S&T is responsible for the design and development of a control system used to test a warping harness developed by TNO. This warping harness will be installed underneath each of the 798 hexagonal mirror segments of the primary mirror of ESO's E-ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope). It is an electro-mechanical system that is able to make corrections in the shape of the surface of a mirror segment. The control system developed by S&T actuates 9 stepper motors and reads small strain gauge signals from leaf springs that indicate the force applied on the mirror by the stepper motors.
The control systems functions also as a data-acquisition system for the strain gauge measurements and values calculated by the PID control algorithm. S&T developed a Python library for scripting and graphical user interface for monitoring and controlling the system. Besides the realisation of the system, S&T

is involved in several tests on the warping harness and its components.