Vol 16, No 8

Differential correction method applied to measurement of the FAST reflector

Xin-Yi Li, Li-Chun Zhu, Jin-Wen Hu, Zhi-Heng Li


Abstract The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) adopts an active deformable main reflector which is composed of 4450 triangular panels. During an observation, the illuminated area of the reflector is deformed into a 300-m diameter paraboloid and directed toward a source. To achieve accurate control of the reflector shape, positions of 2226 nodes distributed around the entire reflector must be measured with sufficient precision within a limited time, which is a challenging task because of the large scale. Measurement of the FAST reflector makes use of stations and node targets. However, in this case the effect of the atmosphere on measurement accuracy is a significant issue. This paper investigates a differential correction method for total stations measurement of the FAST reflector. A multi-benchmark differential correction method, including a scheme for benchmark selection and weight assignment, is proposed. Onsite evaluation experiments show there is an improvement of 70%–80% in measurement accuracy compared with the uncorrected measurement, verifying the effectiveness of the proposed method.


Keywords telescopes — FAST — measurement — differential correction

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