Recommended conceptual optical system design for China's Large Optical-infrared Telescope (LOT)

Opt Express. 2018 Jan 8;26(1):108-119. doi: 10.1364/OE.26.000108.

Abstract

Recently, China is planning to construct a new large optical-infrared telescope (LOT), in which the aperture of the primary mirror is as large as 12m. China's LOT is a general-purpose telescope, which is aimed to work with multiple scientific instruments such as spectrographs. Based on the requirements of LOT telescope, we have compared the performance of Ritchey-Chrétien (RC) design and Aplanatic-Gregorian (AG) design from the perspective of scientific performance and construction cost. By taking the primary focal ratio, Nasmyth focal ratio, and telescope's site condition into consideration, we finally recommend a RC f/1.6 design configuration for LOT's Nasmyth telescope system. Unlike the general identical configuration, we choose a non-identical configuration for the telescope system which has a shorter Cassegrain focal ratio compared to the designed Nasmyth focal ratio. The non-identical design can allow for a shorter back focal distance and therefore a shorter telescope fork to guarantee the gravitational stability of the whole telescope structure, as well as relatively lower construction cost. Detailed analysis for the feasibility of our recommended design is provided in this paper.