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Large Binocular Telescope Enclosure

The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is the largest and most scientifically advanced telescope ever created, constructed on the remote mountaintop site of Mount Graham in southeastern Arizona. The telescope instrument has two 8.4-meter (27.6 feet) primary mirrors on the same mount.

The challenge was to design an enclosure capable of protecting a complex and precise telescope instrument in a co-rotating enclosure with intricate systems of movable shutter and ventilation doors that open skyward. This challenge was further complicated by the site location and environmental conditions.

Form follows function is the basis of the enclosure design. The most important element in this project is the telescope and its ability to view into deep space. The enclosure layout, form, construction materials and sophisticated waste heat management systems are designed to enhance the telescope performance and protect it from the elements. The result is a state-of-the-art enclosure that interacts with the telescope precisely and gracefully.