Smithsonian Institution, Multiple Mirror Telescope

Mount Hopkins, AZ


Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory



With the advent of economical large spun cast mirrors, the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona wished to convert the Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) to a telescope with a single 6.5 m dia. mirror to retain its position as one of the world’s most powerful instruments.  SGH developed the drawings and specifications for this modification.

Scope | Solutions

Highlights of SGH’s work on this project include the following:

  • Developed conversion concepts and the final designs of the new Optics Support Structure (OSS) and mirror cell structure
  • Designed a system that allows for in-place aluminizing of the primary mirror by lifting in a vacuum head and using the mirror cell as the bottom part of vacuum chamber
  • Designed the required modifications to the rotating observatory building to accommodate the larger OSS

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