Performance and control of the MMT thermal system

G. G. Williams, J. D. Gibson, S. Callahan, D. Blanco, J. T. Williams, P. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We present results from a study of the performance of the MMT thermal system. The 6.5-m MMT primary mirror consists of a borosilicate honeycomb structure that is thermally controlled with a forced-air ventilation system. We will give an overview of both the measurement and control systems. Our goal is to define an algorithm for control of the ventilation system such that the primary mirror temperature closely tracks ambient while minimizing thermal gradients. Future work will include a study of correlations between the thermal state of the primary mirror and both seeing and wavefront errors. The thermal system is currently controlled by the telescope operators, but the results from this work will assist in fully automating the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)938-949
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberPART 2
StatePublished - 2004
EventGround-based Telescopes - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 21 2004Jun 25 2004


  • MMT
  • Thermal control
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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