Vol 21, No 11 (2021) / Wei

Non-uniform temperature distribution of the main reflector of a large radio telescope under solar radiation

Shan-Xiang Wei, De-Qing Kong, Qi-Ming Wang

Abstract

The non-uniform temperature distribution of the main reflector of a large radio telescope may cause serious deformation of the main reflector, which will dramatically reduce the aperture efficiency of a radio telescope. To study the non-uniform temperature field of the main reflector of a large radio telescope, numerical calculations including thermal environment factors, the coefficients on convection and radiation, and the shadow boundary of the main reflector are first discussed. In addition, the shadow coverage and the non-uniform temperature field of the main reflector of a 70-m radio telescope under solar radiation are simulated by finite element analysis. The simulation results show that the temperature distribution of the main reflector under solar radiation is very uneven, and the maximum of the root mean square temperature is 12.3°C. To verify the simulation results, an optical camera and a thermal imaging camera are used to measure the shadow coverage and the non-uniform temperature distribution of the main reflector on a clear day. At the same time, some temperature sensors are used to measure the temperature at some points close to the main reflector on the backup structure. It has been verified that the simulation and measurement results of the shadow coverage on the main reflector are in good agreement, and the cosine similarity between the simulation and the measurement is above 90%. Despite the inevitable thermal imaging errors caused by large viewing angles, the simulated temperature field is similar to the measured temperature distribution of the main reflector to a large extent. The temperature trend measured at the test points on the backup structure close to the main reflector without direct solar radiation is consistent with the simulated temperature trend of the corresponding points on the main reflector with the solar radiation. It is credible to calculate the temperature field of the main reflector through the finite element method. This work can provide valuable references for studying the thermal deformation and the surface accuracy of the main reflector of a large radio telescope.

Keywords


large radio telescope — finite element analysis — solar radiation — shadow coverage — temperature distribution

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1674-4527/21/12/293

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.