Drives for LST - Large Sized Telescope

Bonfiglioli gears for the azimuth rotation of the Cherenkov Telescope Array next-generation telescope prototype

In the context of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), an international astrophysics project aimed at studying the most violent phenomena in the universe such as cosmic ray acceleration in supernova explosions, active galactic nuclei and black holes, Bonfiglioli was selected by the IFAE, Institute for High Energy Physics, late last year as the provider of the gears that will drive the azimuth rotation of a new next-generation telescope prototype, which has started to be built at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma (Canary Islands).

HDP series

The LST (Large Sized Telescope) is a gigantic device with a 23-metre mirror to indirectly capture cosmic rays when they interact with particles in the atmosphere. 

The LST rotates in azimuth on a rail using four servomotors mounted on two bogies. Each motor has its own Bonfiglioli gear unit with a 17.7 reduction ratio that provides a constant speed of 127 rpm non-stop throughout the night (eight hours).

Bonfiglioli has implemented four size-70 gear units from the HDP series for this application. The units are parallel shaft gears and form part of the product series focused on heavy duty applications. They are also able to adapt to the application’s demanding mechanical conditions, such as the execution of the unit’s output shaft with a special tolerance and other requirements such as non-standard RAL paint, etc.

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