Discovery Channel Telescope: Cold Plate Design

Project Information

Lowell Observatory and Discovery Communications are working together to build a new telescope in Happy Jack, AZ; 40 miles southeast of Flagstaff.† Their telescope design features a 4.2 meter primary mirror (M1), and the objectives of this telescope are to view Near-Earth Objects as well as the newly discovered Kuiper Belt.†

Due to rapidly changing environmental viewing conditions and large thermal inertia of M1, temperature differences are created between the ambient air and the mirror.† This condition can cause convective plumes and distort the viewing image; a scenario that needs to be avoided for a state-of-the-art project such as this.†

Lowell Observatory has contracted Northern Arizona Universityís Department of Mechanical Engineering to provide a senior undergraduate design team to bring to completion the† cooling mechanism for this primary mirror.† The team consists of Alec Kucala, Craig Green, and Curtis Vedder.†

The team will work within the constraints set forth by Lowell Observatory, perform extensive analysis on the design, and build and test a prototype to be implemented into the overall telescope design.† The team will use state-of-the-art research, technology, and resources to assist in the design process.† Dr. Brent Nelson will be the technical advisor for the team.

Below is a picture of the Discovery Telescope site.†

Client Information† †††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††

Lowell Observatory

Technical Advisor

Dr. Brent Nelson

University Information

Department of Mechanical Engineering†† ††††††††††††††††

Last Updated: 4/29/2010

We would like to invite all interested to project presentation and poster session at NAUís undergraduate symposium.† This will occur April 23, 2010 at NAUís DuBois Center (Building 63).†


Directions to the DuBois Center:

 Located on south campus off of Pine Knoll Rd.† Nearby buildings include Role Activity Center and the Health Professions Building.†

 The address, for those of you using GPS or Google Maps, is 306 E. Pine Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

 Any further questions, contact the centerís staff at (928)-523-3321