Proceedings PaperOptomechanical verification of COSTAR using computer graphics simulation
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One of NASA's planned tasks during the first servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope in December 1993 is to correct the well known vision problem of the telescope due to an incorrect fabrication of the primary mirror. An exhaustive study of solutions to this problem resulted in a recommendation to place dime sized pairs of mirrors into the beam paths of five instrument channels to correct the spherical aberration attendant to the primary mirror. The name of the mechanism designed to carry these correction optics into the focal plane region of the telescope is COSTAR (correction optics for the space telescope axial replacement). For COSTAR to successfully deploy, four articulating arms carrying the correction optics into the crowded focal plane volume of the telescope must physically clear another opto-mechanical device sharing this space, the Wide-Field Planetary Camera (WF/PC). This paper describes the application of 3-dimensional computer graphics in a through-the-window virtual reality environment to simulate and visualize the planned deployment of COSTAR. Several computer generated animation sequences are shown that verify mechanical clearance of COSTAR's arms with respect to WF/PC.