As presently conceived, the large telescope now being planned at The University of Texas will have a Ritchey-Chrétien configuration, f/13.5, with a 7.6m diameter f/2 primary of ultra-thin construction, on an alt-azimuth mount.
In this paper we will describe the current concept for the mounting, the building, mirror handling techniques, and the optical system. We will give preliminary results of the finite element flexure analysis of the mirror on its support system.
Studies have demonstrated a workable concept and have shown that there exists a method of adequately supporting an ultra-thin mirror against gravity and wind loads. We are continuing these studies, including also thermal effects on the mirror figure, in order to determine the best choice of mirror material and construction at the most reasonable price.