India Making ‘Iris’ of World’s Biggest Telescope Ever
There was a time when space technology was considered a domain of a few selected nations, but the MOM project was like a bright flash on the Indian scientific firmament and now India is going to do something very different.
Almost after 7 years, in 2023, it is expected that a 30 metre man- made “eye” will open atop the Hawaiian volcanic dome of Mauna Kea in quest of life beyond the solar system and interestingly, India would have contributed its “Iris” in world’s biggest telescope. Don’t be shocked. It’s true.
After a successful venture to the elite space club with its Mars Mission, India is all set to join the project to build the World’s largest Telescope. Last month, India signed as a full partner in this $1.47 billion Thirty-Metre Telescope (TMT) 5- Nation Project including US. India will make sensors and actuators that will keep the huge mirror of the biggest telescope in place.
India will shake hands with the US, Japan, China and Canada in this project. India will invest $212 million in the billion dollar project within the time period of 2014-2023. This is the first international scientific project that India has taken up with US. India will hold 10% of the project and will make 70% of its total contribution in kind, according to IANS in world’s biggest telescope.
Indian scientists will get up to 30 days in a year for observing through the telescope, and India will also produce several of the products to be used in the project. The telescope is expected to help the scientists understand the stages of our universe’s evolution by studying far away objects in space.
“We have completed the tests. We are ready”, said Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) scientist B Eswar Reddy. Moreover, edge sensors and actuators are crucial components of the telescope as the huge mirror is not a single piece, but a composite of 492 hexagonal segments. Each segment is controlled by three activators and two edge sensors along each inter-segment gap to ensure accurate optical images.