China-India Cooperation on TMT M1 Segments Project Passed Final Review
On April 12, 2018, China-India Cooperation on TMT M1 Segments Project passed the final acceptance review by Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST), the funding agency.
Under the collaborative construction of Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory (TIO), both China and India have its respective tasks for the primary mirror. In 2013, during the 6th meeting of the science and technology cooperation between China and India, both sides elaborated on the willingness of the two sides to strengthen cooperation in the field of astronomy and astrophysics. Specifically, it designated National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) to work together in the development of TMT primary mirror.
In the cooperation of this project, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology (NIAOT) focused on mirror polishing and shape processing. India developed a set of segment support systems (SSAs). One of them which passed the TMT test was shipped to China in June 2017. NIAOT team manufactured the assembly work station, and finished the SSA-aluminum segment integration experiment.
Although it's just a small step towards the completion of TMT M1, it opened the China-India cooperation on the development of large-aperture segmented mirror technology, helped improve both sides' research and integration capability in optical systems and precision instruments. This is a firm step for establishing specific engineering cooperation between China and India to jointly develop complex engineering and technology interfaces.
SSA integration with an aluminum dummy blank