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Optical Engineering

Small Helium-Cooled Infrared Telescope For Spacelab 2
Author(s): T. N. Gautier; W. Poteet; G. H. Rieke; F. J. Low; W. F. Hoffmann
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Paper Abstract

A helium-cooled telescope of 15 cm aperture is being designed and constructed jointly by the University of Arizona, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and the Marshall Space Flight Center for high sensitivity infrared astronomical observations from Spacelab 2. A focal plane array of ten detectors provides a total field of view of 3° and covers the wavelength regions 4.5-8.5 um, 6-7 um, 9-16 um, 18-30 Am, and 60-120 um. A highly redundant all-sky survey will be conducted by repeated scanning of the sky during many orbits of the spacecraft. High redundancy will allow discrimination among variable and constant celestial sources and several types of variable nearby sources. The principal astronomical result of the survey will be the absolute flux measurement of low surface brightness, large scale celestial infrared (IR) emissions, but it will also extend existing IR sky surveys by a factor of 10 in point-source sensitivity. The experiment will also make significant engineering measurements of contaminants in the Shuttle environment, test the technology of storage and utilization of large quantities of superfluid helium in space, demonstrate techniques for sensitive infrared measurements from space, and test mechanical designs for future infrared telescopes for the Space Shuttle.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 1981
PDF: 6 pages
Opt. Eng. 20(2) 202285 doi: 10.1117/12.7972706
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 20, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
T. N. Gautier, University of Arizona (United States)
W. Poteet, University of Arizona (United States)
G. H. Rieke, University of Arizona (United States)
F. J. Low, University of Arizona (United States)
W. F. Hoffmann, University of Arizona (United States)

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