Numerical Analysis of Large Telescopes in Terms of Induced Loads and Resulting Geometrical Stability

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Abstract

Comprehensive numerical studies, involving structural and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis, have been carried out at the Engineering Research Institute “Ventspils International Radio Astron- omy Center” (VIRAC) of the Ventspils University College to investigate the gravitational and wind load effects on large, ground-based radio tele- scopes RT-32 performance. Gravitational distortions appear to be the main limiting factor for the reflector performance in everyday operation. Random loads caused by wind gusts (unavoidable at zenith) contribute to the fatigue accumulation.

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