Telescope Field Rotator – Cassegrain Set for GTC
The Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) has been recently equipped with the Main Cassegrain Focal Station (CG-Set), composed of an Instrument Rotator (IR) and the corresponding Acquisition, Guiding and Wavefront Sensing (AGWS) system. A shutter mechanism protects the Science Instrument during maintenance operations.
IDOM was awarded in November 2017 the supply of this equipment, covering the design, manufacturing, assembly and commissioning of the CG-Set. The Site Acceptance Tests have been successfully completed in January 2020 in the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, ORM (La Palma, Spain).
The Cassegrain Station features a compact and lightweight design with an innovative cable wrap design solution. This design results in a smooth and precise movement, whilst guarantees good access to relevant components, simplifying the maintainability. The CG-Set permits a range of movement of the Instrument Rotator of ±270º, providing a tracking accuracy lower than 7 arcsec. The AGWS Mechanics provides the required pointing and focusing capabilities, using a reference star to accurately correct the telescope drives and optics
The Cassegrain Focal Station can be commanded directly from the Telescope Control System during normal operation as well as from the Local Control System supplied by IDOM for maintenance purposes. This system is accommodated in a thermally isolated electronics cabinet and it can be commanded by a maintenance operator from two mobile HMIs that can be connected at different locations. Additionally, it integrates a Local Interlock and Safety System that guarantees safe operation both on local and remote operation and interfaces with the Telescope Interlock and Safety System to work as one.
The project has been financed by both Spanish and Canary Governments (European Regional Development Funds).