TMT Segment Support Assembly Production team in India -In March 2023, five TMT Segment Support Assemblies (SSA) were completed in Coimbatore, India, by the Larsen and Toubro (L&T) company. On the first row are Nikhil Naik, TMT Production Support Engineer, Karthic Kumar, SSA Work Package Manager at the India TMT Coordination Center (ITCC) and Eswar Reddy, ITCC Programme Director (respectively 8th, 5th and 7th from the left) posing with the L&T SSA production team and members of the ITCC group to commemorate the first five sets of SSA shipped to India’s TMT optics fabrication facility - Image credit: TMT International Observatory / ITCC / L&T
TMT’s Segment Support Assembly Enters Production in India
Pasadena, CA –TMT’s Optics and M1 Segment Support Assemblies (SSA) is ready to enter production following a successful Fabrication Readiness Review that assessed the production of the hardware required to support the primary mirror segments. Larsen and Toubro (L&T), which is supplying the SSAs, is now one step closer to start production and shall proceed with the procurement of raw material.
L&T and India TMT Coordination Centre (ITCC) presented the first five SSAs manufactured in Coimbatore on April 11-12, 2023. For the past few years, L&T has been fabricating parts, procuring components, assembling and testing the first SSAs.
“The ITCC/TMT project and L&T teams put in a lot of work over a several year period to achieve this contractual milestone, and I’m extremely proud of this collaborative effort!,” said Bryan Smith, TMT SSA work package manager in the U.S.."L&T has successfully produced their first five SSAs with only a few requirements left to complete before the production qualification phase.”
Following is a series of images featuring the recent activities around the SSAs manufactured in India.
TMT Segment Support Assembly (SSA) Production in India - TMT Segment Support Assemblies (SSA) are opto-mechanical systems that provide the support for each individual piece of mirror segment - Image credit: TMT International Observatory/ Nikhil Naik
All TMT’s 492 mirror segments will be positioned with precision computer control and work together as a single mirror. To allow this, each segment will be mounted onto SSA key subsystems that provide their support and control.
SSAs are composed of diverse complex optomechanical devices, sensors, and actuators, holding TMT mirror segments in place and controlling their shape and position to very high accuracy. Incorporating the latest innovations in precision control, SSAs will enable precise adjustment of the alignment and phasing of each mirror segment during nighttime astronomical observations.
The visible warping harness cables will connect the warping harness system motors that will correct the surface figure of each TMT primary mirror glass segment. Each SSA module weighs nearly ~65 kg excluding the sub-cell assembly and other loose parts required for segment integration.
Five first sets of Segment Support Assembly produced for TMT - The first five TMT Segment Support Assembly (SSA) sets were manufactured and assembled at Larsen and Toubro (L&T) Coimbatore facility prior to be shipped to India’s TMT Optical Fabrication Facility (ITOFF) - Image credit: TMT International Observatory / ITCC
These SSAs were manufactured and assembled in accordance with the drawing package provided by TIO Project Office and met those requirements before being integrated into specialized shipping containers that provide effective isolation from hard impact collision and potential damages. Each TMT shipping container weighs around 280kg.
For protection, SSAs are mounted on a metal floater platform above six wire rope isolators that serve as cushioning system to protect from large impacts in case the crate was to be dropped or pushed hard.
A small case containing all components needed to integrate the support assembly to the polished mirror glass segment is included in a corner of each crate.
TMT Five sets of Segment Support Assembly from India TMT - From left: Dhiyanesh, Project Manager at Larsen and Toubro (L&T) industry partner; Nikhil Naik, TMT Production Support Engineer; Karthic Kumar, SSA Work Package Manager at the India TMT Coordination Center (ITCC); Selva Kumar, Assistant Manager - Quality at L&T and Ananthu C M, QA Engineer at ITCC. The TMT’s Segment Support Assemblies (SSA) seen in the picture were manufactured and assembled by L&T - Image credit: TMT International Observatory / ITCC
Segment Support Assembly (SSA) production team in India TMT - Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and TMT-Project Office (TMTPO) participants at the Segment Support Assembly (SSA) flagg off event meeting at L&T facility, Coimbatore, in India – March 2023. Nikhil Naik, TMT Production Support Engineer; P Rajkumar, L&T Precision Manufacturing and Systems Complex, Coimbatore Unit Head; Karthic Kumar, SSA Work Package Manager at the India TMT Coordination Center (ITCC) and Eswar Reddy, ITCC Programme Director (respectively 6th, 5th, 4th and 3rd from the right) along with L&T and ITCC engineers and production team in the dedicated room for TMT SSA assembly work at L&T facility in Coimbatore, India - Image credit: TMT International Observatory / ITCC / L&T
TMT Segment Support Assembly Fabrication Readiness Review - Screenshot of the participants from ITCC, L&T, TMT Optics, Systems Engineering & Quality Assurance teams participating in the review held remotely on 11th & 12th April, 2023 - Image credit: TMT International Observatory