When scientific operations begin at Lowell Observatory's flagship research instrument, the Discovery Channel Telescope -- which is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona -- will have a cube capable of carrying five instruments and offers the flexibility for the staff to conduct a wide variety of research.
The Stovepipe and Lampshade baffle assemblies were outlined by the Discovery Channel Telescope team in envelope level drawings to The AMS Group, with specific details on the design and construction left to the vendor chosen for the project. Bill DeGroff, Project Manager for the Telescope said, “Vendor selection was heavily weighted on demonstrated technical ability and proven experience.”
The AMS Group was instructed that the precise baffle assembly shape and size were critical to reduce ghosting while producing the optimal image. As part of The AMS Group, the Next Intent team performed solid modeling and finite element analysis. Collaboration between Tapemation, CL Hann and Next Intent then resulted in a unique approach for the Stovepipe construction. In addition, a slot-tab attachment of the light baffles inside the Stovepipe Tube was designed to insure that scattered light performance would meet specifications.
Bill DeGroff also said, “Interaction with The AMS Group went exceedingly well, with appropriate give and take on both sides. The installation went quite smoothly and the lifting features built into the Stovepipe by Tapemation and Next Intent worked extremely well. We have been very pleased with the hardware and the performance.”
“This project provided a perfect opportunity to leverage the expertise and machining equipment services offered by the three AMS Group partners,” stated Rodney Babcock, President of Next Intent. “Allowing the design to be specified for the most appropriate metal fabrication tools and assembly techniques enabled us to deliver the best possible results to Lowell Observatory. In addition, by leveraging the existing and well coordinated AMS Group, the Telescope team could focus on other components of the project.”
About The AMS Group
The AMS Group is a strategic alliance of three companies working together to provide manufacturing solutions to Aerospace, Technology and Defense clients. The AMS Group uses a collaborative approach that delivers optimally designed and effectively manufactured components and assemblies within identified precision specifications and requirements, often with enhanced performance.
With more than 100 years of combined experience, Next Intent, Tapemation and C.L. Hann Industries produce super precision components, vibration isolation flexures and assemblies to very large weldments and structures. Work is performed under AS9100 and ISO 9001 certification.
About Lowell Observatory
Lowell Observatory is a private, non-profit research institution founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell. The Observatory has been the site of many important findings including the discovery of the large recessional velocities (redshift) of galaxies by Vesto Slipher in 1912-1914 (a result that led ultimately to the realization the universe is expanding), and the discovery of Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930. Today, Lowell's 20 astronomers use ground-based telescopes around the world, telescopes in space, and NASA planetary spacecraft to conduct research in diverse areas of astronomy and planetary science. The Observatory welcomes about 80,000 visitors each year to its Mars Hill campus in Flagstaff, Arizona for a variety of tours, telescope viewing, and special programs. Lowell Observatory currently has four research telescopes at its Anderson Mesa dark-sky site east of Flagstaff, and is testing and commissioning a four-meter class research telescope, the Discovery Channel Telescope.
CL Hann Industries