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Optical Engineering

The Spitzer Space Telescope
Author(s): Michael W. Werner
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Paper Abstract

The Spitzer Space Telescope, which has operated very successfully since 2003 in its unique Earth-trailing solar orbit, is NASA's Great Observatory for infrared astronomy. We provide a quick overview of the optical characteristics of Spitzer and review the observatory design. The main emphasis is on two unique on-orbit activities used to optimize the scientific return from Spitzer: 1. an unusual approach to focusing the telescope that minimized the use of the cryogenic focus mechanism, and 2. a methodology for extending the cryogenic lifetime of Spitzer by actively controlling the telescope temperature.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 February 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 51(1) 011008 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.51.1.011008
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 51, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Michael W. Werner, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

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