gigantic telescope

China’s self-developed actuators enhance FAST telescope performance


China’s self-developed actuators have been applied to the country’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) and have been running smoothly for months without any faults.

There are over 2,000 mirror surfaces on the telescope, and the main role of the actuators is to continuously adjust the angles of these mirror surfaces, thereby ensuring that the telescope functions at its optimal capacity.

However, due to the need for uninterrupted 24-hour operation in harsh outdoor environments, actuators demand extremely high reliability and durability in terms of both lifespan and performance.

After two years of hard work, the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology overcame various technical challenges and successfully developed actuators boasting high reliability, extended lifespan, minimal noise and low heat emission.

The new actuators now meet the operational requirements of the FAST project following their optimization. Next, the project team will further enhance their performance — with focus on intelligent fault diagnosis.