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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems • Open Access

Flux-pinning mechanisms for improving cryogenic segmented mirror performance
Author(s): Jessica Gersh-Range; William R. Arnold; David L. Lehner; H. Philip Stahl

Paper Abstract

Although large cryogenic space telescopes may provide a means of answering compelling astrophysics questions, the required increase in the primary mirror diameter presents technical challenges. Larger primaries are more flexible, and cryogenic mirrors are typically very lightly damped—the material damping is negligible, and common damping methods break down. To address these challenges, we propose placing flux-pinning mechanisms along the edges of adjacent mirror segments. These mechanisms consist of a collection of magnets and superconductors, and like flexures, they preferentially allow motion in specific degrees of freedom. Motion in nonpreferred degrees of freedom is resisted by a force analogous to a damped spring force, and the stiffness and damping can be adjusted independently. As an example, we consider simple mechanisms consisting of an inexpensive magnet and a single superconductor. These mechanisms provide increasing resistance as the magnet and superconductor—or mirror segments attached to each—come closer to colliding. These mechanisms, with typical stiffness and damping values on the order of 5000  N/m and 5  kg/s, respectively, also provide modest improvements to the mirror performance. Greater gains can be achieved by using stronger magnets or smaller separations, or by placing nonmagnetic conductive materials near the mechanism.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 October 2014
PDF: 11 pages
J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 1(1) 014001 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.1.1.014001
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 1, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Jessica Gersh-Range, Cornell Univ. (United States)
William R. Arnold, Defense Acquisition, Inc. (United States)
David L. Lehner, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
H. Philip Stahl, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

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