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Natural Telescope Design. Mel Bartels RETA 2010. The Patterns of Nature. Design patterns are structures and organizations that we observe around us. Years ago, an architect named Christopher Alexander asked himself, “Is quality objective?”

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Natural Telescope Design

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natural telescope design

Natural Telescope Design

Mel Bartels

RETA 2010

the patterns of nature
The Patterns of Nature
  • Design patterns are structures and organizations that we observe around us.
  • Years ago, an architect named Christopher Alexander asked himself, “Is quality objective?”
  • Are there some things that people agree are beautiful?
  • Is there an objective basis for good design?
design patterns are objective
Design Patterns Are Objective
  • Alexander says that there is an objective basis. Within a culture, individuals will agree to a large extend on what is beautiful.
  • Design Patterns arose from Architecture. They are revolutionizing software, where problems in software occur over and over again, solvable by a pattern approach.
design patterns are objective 2
Design Patterns Are Objective, 2
  • If it is possible to recognize and describe a good quality design, how do you go about creating one? What is present in a good design that is not present in a bad design?
  • Similarities between designs are called patterns.
  • Patterns are not new, talking about them is.
patterns of beauty
Patterns of Beauty
  • Beauty is a scope that draws us to it, functional, useful, ‘live’.
  • A beautiful telescope opens the Cosmos and opens our soul. Our search for this beauty, for this quality, is the essence of designing and using beautiful telescopes.
  • Patterns of beauty are all around us: in the Cosmos - in us.
  • A beautiful telescope is an unfolding each step bringing us closer to our ageless character, to the timeless way, to the quality without a name.
advantages of design patterns
Advantages of Design Patterns
  • Begin our design at a conceptual view and work down, systematically and comprehensively in order to discover new variations in telescope design
  • Discern commonality between old designs and new: to judge what is beautiful and what is imminently suitable.
  • Allows us to think about telescope design from a higher plane/greater abstraction so as to invent truly new designs, and to understand new designs
observatory pattern
Observatory Pattern
  • Old answer: Copy an observatory design. Critique: aware of limited set of designs, and quality of those designs varies; impoverished design.
  • New answer: Observatory design pattern, infinitely varying to suit individual problems. For example, what is the best roller system; how might it vary depending on a user's needs?
  • Implementations range from backyard observatory with folding rails, to an equipment case for dark sky observing, to a computer for remote observing.
  • All beautiful observatories share some common traits.
focuser pattern
Focuser Pattern
  • The focuser may vary depending on imager. New focusers may come on the market. Why ruin a telescope’s optical tube assembly by drilling custom holes to mount a focuser?
  • Better to build an adapter plate that allows the OTA to use different focusers.
  • By viewing the “changing out a focuser” problem as an adapter, we see how we can make our OTAs more useful and therefore more beautiful.
filter pattern
Filter Pattern
  • Filters decorate light and are typically screwed into the bottom of an eyepiece. Changing eyepieces is a hassle. Filters are not a property or eyepiece accessory but a decorator of light.
  • By viewing filters as a decorator, we can see how inelegantly filters are used with eyepieces.
spider pattern
Spider Pattern
  • An old idea
  • Vibration resistant
  • Eliminates suspicion of thermal refraction
  • Zero cost
rocker pattern
Rocker Pattern
  • Rocker profile reductions lead to flexure. Why not embrace flexure and design accordingly? This results in the lowest possible profile rocker.
  • Altitude support points sit on top of azimuth support points.
  • Requires stable base ring.
altitude bearing patterns
Altitude Bearing Patterns
  • Consolidate the two remaining rear segments into a single tail fin. 3.5M New Technology scope an example.
  • Curved altitude rims a major aspect of low profile ultralight telescopes. Break the curved rims into two segments, so that a segment can fold up against the mirror box face.
mounting pattern
Mounting Pattern
  • Popular alternative implementation: Equatorial mounts are 4 axis mounts where 2 axes have limited motion. Mount translates between 2 axes oriented to local site, and 2 axes oriented to Earth’s axis.
  • Altazimuth with field rotation is 3 axis mount. Any combination or placement of these 3 axes can cover tracking and de-rotate the image.
  • Variations include field de-rotator, and rotating the OTA in its cradle.
binocular pattern
Binocular Pattern
  • Advantages of binocs at sub-low power are widest angle views, and, at highest power views.
  • Evaluation of 22 inch binocs versus 28 inch monocular.
  • We no more “have ideas” than “ideas have us”.
  • Expansion of an idea is an expansion of self.
  • Creativity is redefining us and our reality. This takes courage and endurance.
  • Healthy sense of beauty and a sense of wholeness are necessary to create.
  • Creativity is the rediscovery of what is permanent from the past.
  • Ideas can change; more than this they must change.
  • Master order so as to be open to the chaos of discovery.
  • To gain insight, must love truth more than hate error.
natural telescope design1
Natural Telescope Design
  • My goal is to change how you think about telescopes
  • Questions and answers?