The TMT Laser Guide Star Facility has successfully completed its Preliminary Design Review and is advancing to the Final Design Phase. The review was held on 8–9 November 2023 at the TMT International Observatory Project Office and was conducted by a panel consisting of external and internal experts.
A kickoff meeting was recently held for the TMT Secondary Mirror Support System and Positioner Assembly (M2SSP), a critical subsystem of the TMT Observatory. Responsible for safely supporting and adjusting the rigid body motion of the secondary mirror (M2), the M2SSP encompasses all of the secondary mirror system hardware, minus the mirror itself, as well as the controls and safety systems.
The United States Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP) today announced it has received $15.3 million from the National Science Foundation to support further design and development of advanced optical technologies and user services. The funding consists of one-year awards of $2.3 million to NSF’s NOIRLab managed by AURA, and $6.5 million each to the organizations building the Giant Magellan Telescope and the Thirty Meter Telescope.
On 18 July 2023, Sergio Salata, Astronomy Project Manager of Added Value Solutions (AVS) in Tenerife, visited the TMT office to tell us about the astronomy projects and other science equipment development projects the AVS company had been involved with. His short talk and discussions with project staff covered astronomy instrumentation, cooling, cryostats, opto-mechanics and other topics of relevance to TMT development.
The TMT Refrigeration Cooling System (REFR) will proceed to the Preliminary Design phase next year after successfully passing its Conceptual Design Review closeout meeting on May 3, 2023.
How will TMT make its 492 primary mirror segments behave as a single mirror of 30 meter diameter? TMT’s Alignment and Phasing System (APS) team has come up with the solution that will keep all of TMT’s mirrors aligned to a high precision of about 10 nm root-mean-square (RMS).
TMT’s telescope structure subsystem (STR) recently completed two successful Production Readiness Reviews (PRR2 and PRR3) to assess the availability of adequate resources and planning for production, and later for assembly, integration and verification. The STR’s design and future fabrication are activities led by NAOJ and their prime contractor Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) in Japan.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) today issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and to initiate Section 106 consultation for a potential NSF investment in the construction and operation of the Thirty Meter Telescope.
Henry Yang, Board Chair, Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory, issued the following statement in response to today’s release of the Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s Decadal Survey:
TMT recently achieved a major project milestone, with a review Board, mainly composed of external reviewers, concluding that its plans for Observatory Operations, Commissioning and Data-Management (OCDM) have reached sufficient maturity at this stage of the project design. Concretely, this positive preliminary review means that TMT’s operations plans are ready for the next rounds of Project reviews, which will assess not only operations but...