Mechanical structure of the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer (MROi) units
The Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer (MROI) is a high-sensitivity imaging optical/IR interferometer in construction on the Magdalena Ridge mountain of Socorro in New Mexico.
Up to ten “unit telescopes” will be moveable along an equilateral “Y” shape array providing snapshot imaging capabilities with a sub-milliarcsecond resolution. The telescopes can be relocated on 28 stations distant of 7.5 m to 350 m.
The high sensitivity is obtained thanks to the innovative configuration for the 1.4 m unit telescopes.
The telescope consists in a Mersenne beam compressor supported by an elevation over the elevation mount. The 95 mm diameter output collimated beam is sent through the outer elevation mount by a tertiary mirror articulated around the inner elevation axis. The star light hits only three surfaces in the telescope. The throughput is therefore significantly higher compared to a Coudé Train configuration.
AMOS is in charge of the design of the telescope mount and in the manufacturing, integration and test of each unit.
As the main contractor for the development of the unit telescope, AMOS took advantage of its experience in the design of telescopes dedicated to interferometry to design the complete telescope within a short time frame. Experts will immediately note that the mount design is quite unusual. This unique design guarantees to output the optical beam always at the same location, independent of the orientation of the telescope, while minimizing the number of reflections.
The first unit has been installed in 2016 and the second one in 2023.
Other units are in preparation.