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World Largest Optical Telescope Designed with Help From Autodesk

By DE Editors

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is designing the world s largest optical telescope using Autodesk Vault data management software and other Autodesk solutions. The telescope will allow researchers to potentially view distant, Earth-like planets in other solar systems.

The ESO is currently fine-tuning the design of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), which is expected to become operational early in the next decade. The core of the E-ELT is a mirror measuring nearly 40 meters (132 feet) in diameter. This mirror consists of nearly 800 segments each 1.4 meter (about 4.5 feet) across and 50 millimeters thick. The telescope main structure weighs about 2,700 tons. The E-ELT will be capable of gathering 15 times more light than today s current cutting-edge telescopes.

ESO Telescope
The improvements will enable astronomers to more precisely study primordial galaxies and black holes. The telescope’s powerful instruments will also help scientists probe more deeply for organic molecules and water in the planetary disks that surround distant stars.

Autodesk Vault software helps engineers start the design with a common understanding and allows the numerous individuals involved with the project to generate, examine, compare and update CAD models generated by different teams. Additionally, the designers use Autodesk Inventor for 3D mechanical design, product simulation and design communication in conjunction with Vault to keep the team synchronized throughout the design project while collaborating to design critical systems that require extra attention.

ESO engineers leverage Autodesk software to design the specifications for the optical system inside the E-ELT. Inventor software is the tool used to help define the space envelope around different mechanisms, and Autodesk Navisworks is used to help designers and non-CAD users compare multiple CAD drawings, visualize them and check for interferences in 3D.

For more information, visit Autodesk.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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