A new look for Gemini: Rapid-cured composites for an exchangeable toe-end

Stan Miziarski, Andrew McGrath, N. Milby, D. E. Brosius, M. J. Von Bertouch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The Gemini-sponsored WFMOS Feasibility Study investigated a wide-field, prime focus installation for the Gemini telescopes. As constructed, the Gemini design allows for multiple, interchangeable telescope top-ends, although this capability has never been implemented. Constrained by a particularly challenging top-end mass budget, we proposed a new top end specific to WFMOS, employing a carbon fiber reinforced plastic structure. An innovative, out-of-autoclave manufacturing process using balanced pressure and liquid heating and cooling enables high-specification, large CFRP structures to be constructed suitable for incorporation as fundamental parts of telescope structures. Advantages include low weight, enhanced overall telescope stiffness, and cost-effective construction with on-site final assembly. We describe the manufacturing process and the proposed top-end structure, as well as highlighting the advantages of this type of structure and material for large and extremely large telescopes in general.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptomechanical Technologies for Astronomy
EditorsEli Atad-Ettedgui, Joseph Antebi, Dietrich Lemke
Place of PublicationUnited States of America
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventOptomechanical Technologies for Astronomy - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 24 May 200631 May 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume6273 II
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceOptomechanical Technologies for Astronomy
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


  • Carbon fiber
  • Composite
  • Gemini
  • Telescope structures


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