Performance and control of the MMT thermal system

George G Williams, J. D. Gibson, S. Callahan, D. Blanco, J. T. Williams, P. Spencer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


We present results from a study of the performance of the MMT thermal system. The 6.5-m MMT primary mirror consists of a borosilicate honeycomb structure that is thermally controlled with a forced-air ventilation system. We will give an overview of both the measurement and control systems. Our goal is to define an algorithm for control of the ventilation system such that the primary mirror temperature closely tracks ambient while minimizing thermal gradients. Future work will include a study of correlations between the thermal state of the primary mirror and both seeing and wavefront errors. The thermal system is currently controlled by the telescope operators, but the results from this work will assist in fully automating the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsJ.M. Oschmann, Jr.
Number of pages12
EditionPART 2
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventGround-based Telescopes - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 21 2004Jun 25 2004


OtherGround-based Telescopes
CountryUnited Kingdom



  • MMT
  • Thermal control
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Williams, G. G., Gibson, J. D., Callahan, S., Blanco, D., Williams, J. T., & Spencer, P. (2004). Performance and control of the MMT thermal system. In J. M. Oschmann, Jr. (Ed.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (PART 2 ed., Vol. 5489, pp. 938-949)