Amanda Ross was born and raised in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. In 2007, she graduated from Hawaii Preparatory Academy, and she will enter her junior year at Mount Holyoke College this fall. Amanda enjoys riding horses, listening to music, and being at home in Kona with her friends and family. She is a double major in Architecture and Mathematics, and hopes one day to attend graduate school and pursue a career in Architecture.
Home Island: Big Island
High School: Hawaii Preparatory Academy
Institution when accepted: Mount Holyoke College
Akamai Project: Design Foundations: 3-D Modeling of Keck II
Project Site: Keck Observatory
Mentor: Bill Randolph, Drew Medeiros, and Jim Bell
Science, and more particularly astronomy, must continue to advance as technology improves. Mirrors must get bigger, images clearer, and laser guide stars more plentiful, if the technology to create them exists. However, in order to improve something, one must possess accurate knowledge of its existing state. Before the design process begins for Keck II’s Next Generation of Adaptive Optics (NGAO), a new system that allows for much clearer images by correcting for atmospheric disturbances, the documentation of its proposed site must be fully completed. The goal of my project was to use the CAD software for mechanical design, SolidWorks, to complete a portion of the 3-D representation of the entire Keck II telescope. I focused primarily on the structure beneath the left Nasmyth platform, home to the current AO bench. In total, I modeled 11 structural beams, three sets of stairs, and the mirror-cell access and elevation-drive access platforms. Once verified with the as-builts on the summit, my models were assembled and added to the existing telescope model, then released to the Keck vault, where they will serve as a guide to the designers of NGAO.