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Proceedings Paper

Edison: a new direction for infrared space astronomy
Author(s): Harley A. Thronson; Timothy G. Hawarden; John K. Davies; Alan J. Penny; Toshio Matsumoto
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Paper Abstract

Previous designs for infrared space observatories assumed that the best method of cooling these systems was a single large tank of liquid helium. Although effective, as demonstrated by the IRAS and, soon, the ISO missions, this technique produces limited lifetime, small telescope aperture, and inflexibility in optical design. More modern spacecraft designs, including the Japanese IRIS and European Edison concepts, instead adopt multiple cooling strategies: radiative, cryogenic, and/or mechanical. This alternative philosophy permits each technique to be applied to the most appropriate task, taking advantage of strengths of each technology and minimizing weaknesses. In this paper we give a brief history of the development of some cooling technologies, emphasizing the advantages of the designs adopted for a pair of possible future infrared space missions, IRIS and Edison. We also briefly discuss negative aspects of the IRAS legacy in infrared spacecraft design and we speculate on what types of missions might follow IRIS and Edison.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 1994
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 2209, Space Optics 1994: Earth Observation and Astronomy, (13 September 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.185263
Show Author Affiliations
Harley A. Thronson, Univ. of Wyoming (United States)
Timothy G. Hawarden, Joint Astronomy Ctr. and The Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
John K. Davies, Joint Astronomy Ctr. and The Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
Alan J. Penny, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Toshio Matsumoto, Nagoya Univ. (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2209:
Space Optics 1994: Earth Observation and Astronomy
Guy Cerutti-Maori; Philippe Roussel, Editor(s)

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