The project covers the development of enabling technologies and concepts required for the eventual design and construction of a European extremely large optical and infrared telescope, with a diameter in the 50- to 100-m range. To this end, it builds on existing European design studies, on leading industrial and academic expertise in the relevant fields, and gathers resources accross the European academic and industrial communities for a preparatory effort on crucial components, subsystems and concepts. The technology development programme which is the subject of this project will span over the 2005-2008 period. It covers relevant design and technology aspects underlying the feasibility of giant telescopes. As such, it includes, most notably, the deve lopment and testing of advanced adaptive optics technologies and concepts, of metrology systems and control schemes for segmented, active telescopes, as well as the development and testing of advanced materials and processes for the serial production of mirror segments, of low-cost drive sytems for the telescope kinamtics. Site characterization, exploratory instruments designs, and an assessment of the performance of a segmented aperture exopsed to wind on a representative site are also included.
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