VERITAS Optical Support Structure

M3 provided design and engineering of the steel optical support structure (OSS) for the VERITAS telescopes. The structure is a space frame approximately 12 meters in diameter and 12 meters long. The structure supports 350 hexagonal mirror segments (610 mm across the flats). Finite element analysis was used to design the structure and to demonstrate conformance with the optical tolerance design criteria. Mirror segment alignment offsets were calculated to allow mirror alignment at horizon pointing that result in acceptable optical performance between 25 and 90-degree elevation angles.

M3 prepared steel shop drawings for the OSS using XSteel detailing software. This process eliminates the “unknown” elements for a steel fabricator preparing a bid, resulting in more  economical, competitive bids.

M3 also designed the concrete foundation for the overall OSS/positioner structure of the telescope.