Engineering, Design and Construction of String Telescopes
is Albert Highe's second book on telescope construction. The first, Engineering, Design and Construction of Portable Newtonian Telescopes
(Willmann-Bell) provided an overview of the engineering and materials science fundamentals, and a simplified product development process, applicable to building any telescope. In addition, it supplied quantitative design rules for constructing truss-tube telescopes. Careful testing has proven the validity of the rules, and the creation over the years of more than 30 highly portable telescopes for himself and others has demonstrated the effectiveness of a disciplined approach.
Portability today is important for almost every deep-sky observer. Seldom do we have a home observatory with dark skies. We must travel to view the night-sky's splendors. Weight, ease of setup, steadiness and observer comfort become critical in whether the experience is enjoyable and sustainable. Engineering, Design and Construction of Portable Newtonian Telescopes provides that guidance for truss-tube telescopes. However, there remain another class of portable telescopes, “String Telescopes”, that requires a comprehensive volume of its own to provide guidelines, and instruction to create a unique portable instrument with superb performance. Prior to this new book most of that knowledge did not exist. Learn how to
distinguish between the two classes of string telescope substructures
predict deflections of complete telescope optical assemblies and select the appropriate configuration of struts and guy wires (strings) for your project
construct, evaluate, and properly tension guy wires made from steel cables or bowstring yarn
measure and analyse the vibrations of any telescope structure.
Building a telescope using flexible structural elements generally is a more ambitious project than one employing only rigid struts. Readers can tackle the project with confidence, knowing that the author has fully explained the underlying science and engineering of string telescopes. The answers to the most probing technical questions can be found here. Yet, little or no technical training is required to build a satisfying instrument. Reader can base their telescope on one of the two successful examples. Their lengthy chapters, profuse with drawings and images, and extensive construction detail, will lead you through the steps required to build an attractive telescope that meets exacting goals.
See what will happen before you build! The interactive Excel spreadsheets help you predict results quickly and easily saving time and money.
Predict how modifications to those designs, and those of your own creation, will perform with the included easy-to-use Excel spreadsheets. Similarly, other worksheets allow the quick lay out of optical components and their impact on field illumination, telescope balance, and eyepiece height, and calculate deflection of beams and other structures as a function of size, shape, and load.
Stiffness of four of the more common string telescope configurations, using either polymer guy wires or steel wire ropes.
Illumination profile across telescope and eyepiece fields-of-view (influenced by a comprehensive set of variables).
Horizontal and vertical balance of a telescope optical assembly.
Eyepiece height as a function of focuser placement and telescope elevation angle.
Deflection of straight beams with uniform cross section.
Angular deflection of curved beams (simulating altitude bearings).
In-plane deflection, and out-of-plane deformation, of rings (especially applicable to minimalist upper optical assemblies).
Size and placement of bearing pads to achieve desired forces for altitude and azimuth movement