While optical telescopes work with visible and sometimes infrared wavelengths, radio telescopes work with radio wavelengths.
Whereas optical telescopes have secondary mirrors, radio telescopes have subreflectors, that send the radio waves collected by the primary reflector towards the detector, which will gather images from the stars, black holes, planets…
Radio telescopes usually have a larger diameter than optical telescopes.
The Mexican institute INAOE chose Symétrie to provide a hexapod system to support and adjust the subreflector (M2) of the LMT/GTM telescope on top of the Sierra Negra at 4600 m altitude. LMT/GTM is the world’s largest single-dish millimeter-wavelength telescope (50 meters diameter) and is operated by INAOE and the University of Massachusetts.
INAOE PROJECT SPECIFICITIES
■ Resolution: 0.5 µm arcsec
■ Payload: 350 kg, including the ice weight ant the wind effect
■ Cables length: 100 meters
■ Altitude: 4600 meters
IRAM, the French-German-Spanish institute for radio astronomy selected Symétrie to supply 12 hexapods for the support and alignment of the subreflectors of the 12 antennas of NOEMA radio telescope in the French Alps.
IRAM PROJECT SPECIFICITIES
■ Absolute accuracy: 5 arcsec
■ Payload: 70 kg
■ Very light carbon fiber platforms
■ Mass: 53 kg