On October 6th, AURA awarded the LSST M1M3 Mirror Cell contract to CAID Industries, Inc. based in Arizona. The work includes the final design, manufacturing, assembly, and vacuum testing of the 26,000kg (57,000lb) steel cell. The large, complex 9m x 9m x 2m (30ft x 30ft x 7ft) weldment safely supports the M1M3 mirror while on the telescope mount assembly and also functions as the low vacuum chamber vessel to enable coating of the mirror surfaces. The work will be done at the CAID facility in Tucson over the next 16 months. Upon completion, the Mirror Cell will be integrated with the M1M3 mirror currently in storage in Tucson, to enable active optical testing at the University of Arizona Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab prior to shipment of the systems to Chile.
Financial support for LSST comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded LSST Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). The DOE-funded effort to build the LSST camera is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
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