Numerical Simulation for Wind Characterization of the Macon Site: A Preliminary Study

Esteban González, Carlos Sacco, Diego García Lambas, Pablo Recabarren


The set up of a large telescope at a high altitude site requires a previous comprehensive study of the local meteorological and seeing conditions. The summit of mount Macón in Tolar Grande, province of Salta, Argentina has been studied for more than a year and excellent seeing conditions have been found. However, strong wind conditions drastically affect the selection of the best place where a large telescope may be installed. In the present work, a CFD study is performed in order to evaluate and analyze the wind speed distribution and flow pattern over the site. A high resolution topographical model was developed based on a GPS survey. The numerical formulation is a large eddy simulation (LES) of the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations approximated using the finite element method and results are compared to the experimental measurements.

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