Infrared radiation is almost
inaccessible from the ground, because it gets absorbed
by gas clouds in the lower tropospheric layers. Thus
the desired observations cannot even be made by means
of large telescopes on the ground.
The chosen flight altitude is 13 km. To keep the vibration
of the jet engines from shaking the telescope, the
company CFM Schiller is developing a Vibration Isolation
System (VIS), which will be installed around the bar
of the dumbbell structure. For this express purpose
we have constructed a 1:5-model, to design and test
the single constituents (see above).
The VIS completely decouples the telescope from the
vibration of the plane. Besides, the position of this
17-tons-telescope-unit can actively be controlled
in case of its displacement.
This isolation is realized by means of axial and tangential
air springs as well as shock absorbers, which are
positioned annularly around the telescope bearing.
A pneumatic system with PC-control supplies the necessary