Issue 10 • April, 2007
Thirty Meter Telescope

Project Manager's Corner: Toward Implementing TMT
  Gary Sanders

We are now about 60% through the Design Development Phase of TMT and we are planning the implementation of TMT. We know enough about the design and requirements, the cost and schedule, and we are in the final year of narrowing the site choice. A growing focus is planning the mobilization on a site, the remaining design and development, and starting industrialization by producing TMT components. Our vision is to initiate work on a site in about two years.


Technology Nugget—TMT's Adaptive Optics Program Enters a New "Stage"

The unprecedented size of TMT's primary mirror will provide an opportunity to obtain astronomical images far sharper and clearer than any that can be produced using today's telescopes—if the distorting effects of the earth's atmosphere can be almost completely corrected. The technology of sensing and correcting these distortions before they ruin an image is known as adaptive optics, or AO. Although AO has now been used by many astronomers for nearly a generation, TMT will require new concepts and components that are larger, more capable, and/or more sophisticated than any system developed to date. This includes the deformable mirror and tip/tilt stage, two devices that may be considered the business end of adaptive optics.


Industry News

Empire Industries Ltd., one of Western Canada's fastest growing steel fabrication and construction service providers, today announced that it has purchased all the issued and outstanding shares of AMEC Dynamic Structures Ltd. from AMEC ("AMEC"). The name of the company has been changed to Empire Dynamic Structures Ltd. ("Dynamic Structures"). AMEC Dynamic Structures is an important contributor to the design of TMT with responsibility for the enclosure and the telescope structure. Their invaluable role will continue under the new ownership, a flagship element of the strong Canadian partnership in TMT. Readers have often heard us refer to AMEC in our articles. Watch for the new name in successive chronicles as we progress.

Those of you familiar with TMT's mirror segment assembly work know that HYTEC, Inc. is an important industrial partner on the TMT Project. They are working with the TMT Telescope Optics Group to design and prototype the Primary Mirror Segment Support Assemblies.

Now, HYTEC Inc. has announced its merger with IMTEC Corporation, a dental specialty products manufacturer in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and will be henceforth known as IMTEC. HYTEC will combine its advanced engineering with the manufacturing the focus of IMTEC.

HYTEC, headquartered in Los Alamos, NM, grew from a small consulting firm to a successful business leader in precision imaging and optomechanical systems

HYTEC has three main lines of business: tomographic inspection systems, scanning services and design engineering. They design and build custom instruments used in space and terrestrial physics applications.

TMT highly values their contribution to the precision control of the segmented primary mirror, and we extend our best wishes for their continued success as a part of IMTEC.

Q & A with Jeff Oram

Mark SirotaJeff Oram is the TMT Sr. Cost Estimator. Jeff joined the project in September 2004 following several years in the aerospace industry and serving as a mathematics instructor. He has extensive experience and knowledge in parametric cost estimating, financial and operations modeling, project pricing, and database development.

Download Jeff Oram Interview
[7:00 min. 6.4 MB MP3]

Focus On—Science in the Era of TMT: A Workshop Sponsored by the TMT Project
  Betsy Barton, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of California, Irvine

Many of us who work in the middle of the TMT project have been excited about its scientific capabilities for a long time. But now, with so many recent developments shaping TMT into a real observatory, it's time for us to share our enthusiasm for the project with the astronomical community as a whole. Regardless of the eventual partnerships contributing funding to the project, TMT and its results will be used by the entire world.

To this end, the TMT project is sponsoring a workshop at the Beckman Center of the National Academies from July 23-25, 2007. All members of the astronomical community are invited to attend. The workshop will provide an opportunity to hear from people both inside and outside the project about exciting science that will be enabled by the telescope.


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TMT is supported in the United States by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the US National Science Foundation. Canadian funding is provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, the National Research Council of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund.

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