Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


John Ridgely


The accuracy of optical telescope in the past was dominated by the construction of the telescope body and the precision of optical surface. This thesis fits into a larger project with a goal of controlling a flexible telescope in order to help a cheaper telescope achieve higher accuracy. In order to understand the internal motion of telescope, the goal of this thesis is to build a state space model of a two-degree-of-freedom telescope using a known star location as feedback. The model presented in this thesis may be used for the telescope simulation and the control design in the future. This project considers a light weight flexible structured telescope and uses state space formulation to model dynamic motion of the telescope since state space model is better for modeling and analyzing a multiple-inputs and multiple-outputs system. A one-degree-freedom experimental test stand is built to generate a series of telescope motion data in order to examine whether the telescope simulation model can represent a real telescope system. To record the telescope motion, a wheel encoder mounted on the azimuth motor and a LED light density sensor installed at the end of telescope body are used as feedbacks. The results show that the state space model can simulate many system dynamic behaviors as shown in the experimental result; however, it is not feasible to obtain all of telescope’s physical parameters from the system feedbacks.