CLIENT: AURA (Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy)
SERVICES: Design & Manufacture (EPC)
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), formerly the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST), is a 4-m class domed solar telescope that will provide unprecedented abilities to view details of the Sun.
IDOM completed the Detailed design of the telescope dome in 2012 and started the Fabrication, Factory Assembly & Testing, which was completed early in 2014. IDOM is currently supporting the Site Assembly at the Haleakalā Observatory on the island of Maui.
Click on the tabs below to learn more about the project and watch our videos on the making of the DKIST Dome.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), formerly the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST), is a 4-m class domed solar telescope located at the Haleakalā High Altitude Observatory in Maui, Hawaii, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and coordinated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).
Being the largest solar telescope in the world, it will provide unprecedented abilities to view details of the Sun. Using adaptive optics technology, DKIST will be able to provide the sharpest views ever taken of the solar surface, which will allow scientists to learn even more about the Sun and solar-terrestrial interactions.
The DKIST Enclosure, a large structural-mechanical system approximately 22m [72ft] tall and 26.6m [87ft] in diameter, is one of the observatory’s key subsystems, providing complete protection for the telescope and optics. In order to accomplish its functions, the DKIST Enclosure is comprised of a number of subsystems, including structure, mechanisms, cladding and ventilation gates, handling equipment, control systems, and electrical and pneumatic distribution.
In addition, the azimuth systems and altitude of the dome are driven by specially designed mechanisms to achieve a uniform motion and constant speeds for tracking the sun’s movement. In particular, the shutter motion is accomplished utilizing an innovative solution for driving large moveable structures, the “crawler” mechanism patented by IDOM.
In order to ensure the correct integration and performance of the dome before its final delivery to Hawaii, the system was subjected to a full Factory Assembly and Testing, during which the dome operation proved to have an outstanding performance.
Among the characteristics that make the DKIST Enclosure unique is its ability to position the optical system’s entrance aperture and track the sun’s motion with millimetre-level accuracy. Furthermore, the main mechanisms, altitude and azimuth, proved to operate very accurately in terms of uniform and constant movements at both maximum (2º/s) and minimum (0.004º/s) operation speeds.
As of 2015, the dome is being assembled at the Site under the technical supervision of IDOM.