Heliostats

DFM Engineering has provided ten heliostats.
They have driven the light from the equatorially mounted flat mirror upward along an extension of the polar axle to a number 2 mirror that has folded the light vertically downward.
We have developed a special polar alignment technique for heliostats.
Features:
• Equatorially mounted flat mirror
• 4 degrees per second axes motion
• Mirror front surface located at the intersection of the axes
• On axis 1 arc second resolution encoders
• Axes fiducials
• Computer control system

An example is the Big Bear Solar Telescope which presents unique problems of scattered light and thermal control.

A 1.6M solar telescope was designed and manufactured by DFM Engineering to study solar surface granulation.

The clear aperture, off-axis telescope design included particular attention to the full light path, from its entrance through the adaptive optics to the final field of view. Calibration and heat uniformity throughout the light path were of primary concern.
The primary mirror is 1.7 m off-axis, which leaves the secondary mirror well-away from the path of the incoming light.
After the secondary, the light comes to the first set of polarization optics, which contains calibration optics.
The tertiary mirror then sends the light down the declination axis of the solar telescope.
The off axis, unobstructed optical system has much reduced diffraction and much less scattered light compared to a concentric Cassegrain configuration.
This combined with adaptive optics and careful temperature control results in very high quality solar images.

The engineering of this high quality optical system enabled observation of solar mini-granules form a multi-fractal structure in real time.
This discovery of remarkable bursting, jagged behavior mimicked other systems in nature, such as coastlines, glaciers, earthquakes, etc. providing scientists with extraordinary data.

Check out more about:
 Big Bear Solar Telescope
NJIT Solar Telescope
NJIT New Solar Telescope Construction
Awesome Sunspot Close-Ups! provided by the New Solar Telescope (NST)
"The Sun Watchers" video produced by the Astronomy Outreach Network