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[lise] Description of the prototype
Description of the prototype
The main mirror of the hypertelescope consists of several small mirrors of approximately 20cm in diameter each. They are arranged on a virtual spherical surface of 200m of radius and placed on tripods that are securely anchored to the ground.
 
Focal Gondola 2012 ©MR
 Mirror support tripod ©MR
 Gondola’s control motor (east point cables) ©MR
 
The focal optics are placed in a gondola that weighs only a few kilograms. An 800m, very thin and rigid, suspension Kevlar cable is firmly anchored to both sides of the valley in north-south direction. Suspended at around 100 meters above ground, this gondola is precisely positioned through 6 additional cables operated by winches, like a giant marionette. The cables are operated from 3 positions located approximately 300m apart and connected by a local Wi-Fi network powered by solar energy. Their winding and unwinding, controlled by a computer, is used to compensate the Earth’s rotation movement and therefore allows pointing the gondola in the direction of the observed star throughout the observation period.
 
The image is sent from the gondola towards the south point of the installation where a 200mm-diameter telescope, on a motorized equatorial mount, is located. Pointing towards the gondola, the telescope receives these images and registers them on a digital camera. The polar axis of the equatorial mount is aligned with both the North Star and the center of curvature of the giant spherical mirror.
 
 
 Dimensional diagram of the installation: view from above ©Google Earth & MR
Optical path of the light beam : mirrors on tripods - gondola - telescope ©Google Earth & MR