One of the factors that can influence the performance of large optical telescopes is the vibration of the telescope structure due to unsteady wind inside the telescope enclosure. Estimating the resulting degradation in image quality has been difficult because of the relatively poor understanding of the flow characteristics. Significant progress has recently been made, informed by measurements in existing observatories, wind-tunnel tests, and computational fluid dynamic analyses. We combine the information from these sources to summarize the relevant wind characteristics and enable a model of the dynamic wind loads on a telescope structure within an enclosure. The amplitude, temporal spectrum, and spatial distribution of wind disturbances are defined as a function of relevant design parameters, providing a significant improvement in our understanding of an important design issue.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 14, 2005
Revised Manuscript: May 22, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: June 1, 2006
Douglas G. MacMynowski, Konstantinos Vogiatzis, George Z. Angeli, Joeleff Fitzsimmons, and Jerry E. Nelson, "Wind loads on ground-based telescopes," Appl. Opt. 45, 7912-7923 (2006)