Thirty Meter Telescope

Astronomy's next generation observatory.


The Telescope

TMT is a telescope designed for optical and infrared observing, with the wavelengths of interest ranging from 310 nanometers in the ultraviolet to 28 microns in the infrared.

In the TMT project organization, the “telescope” includes:

  • the main structures of the telescope mount and optical support assemblies;
  • the mechanical systems for the mount (drives, brakes, bearings, encoders, limit switches, counterweights, elevators, cable wraps);
  • the optical elements that form the telescope image (the primary, secondary and tertiary mirrors);
  • the mechanical assemblies that support and position the mirrors;
  • the control systems, including control electronics and software;
  • the alignment and phasing system; and
  • distribution systems for utility services, data signals, and grounding lines.

Other important systems, including the science instruments, the adaptive optics systems, the summit facilities and the enclosure, are not considered part of the telescope in our project organization.