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Proceedings Paper

Edison project and radiatively cooled infrared space observatories
Author(s): Harley A. Thronson; Timothy G. Hawarden; Tom W. Bradshaw; Anna H. Orlowska; Alan J. Penny; R. F. Turner; Donald Rapp
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Paper Abstract

We describe the current design for Edison, the first large radiatively-cooled infrared space observatory, now under consideration by the European Space Agency. Without the large cryogen tanks, more of the spacecraft can be filled with light-collecting optics and, of course, the observatory has no built-in lifetime. Our proposal is for a telescope with a 1.7 m primary to be launched by an Atlas, Ariane 5, or Proton. The baseline orbit for the observatory is a 'halo' around L2, a location which allows additional radiating area to be placed anti-sunward. Models of the temperature behavior of the observatory indicate an equilibrium temperature via radiation alone of about 20 K. Use of near-future cryo-coolers may allow optical system temperatures as low as approximately 15 K. Consequently, Edison will be limited in sensitivity by the celestial thermal background at wavelengths shortward of about 60 micrometers and by celestial source confusion at longer wavelengths.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 1993
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1945, Space Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments II, (1 November 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.158751
Show Author Affiliations
Harley A. Thronson, Wyoming Infrared Observatory (United States)
Timothy G. Hawarden, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Tom W. Bradshaw, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Anna H. Orlowska, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Alan J. Penny, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
R. F. Turner, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Donald Rapp, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1945:
Space Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments II
Pierre Y. Bely; James B. Breckinridge, Editor(s)

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