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Proceedings Paper

POST: a stratospheric testbed for testing new space telescope technologies
Author(s): James N. Tilley; Edward J. Friedman; Holland C. Ford; Pierre Y. Bely
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Paper Abstract

The Polar Stratospheric Telescope payload will be the prototype of a diffraction limited, large space telescope and will fly in the stratosphere to validate a number of new technologies that future large space telescopes will require. The telescope is a 6-m diameter, sparsely-filled array comprised on one 1.8-m and six 60-cm mirrors. Each mirror is a segment of an f/1.2 primary. The mirrors have an unequal spacing around the circumference which optimizes spatial coverage of the u,v plane. The mirror segments are coaligned and cophased by a combination of internal metrology and re-imaging of the pupil onto a small active mirror for the correction of piston and tilt errors. The telescope will be flown during the winter in a polar region where the tropopause is a factor of two lower than at lower latitudes, making the stratosphere accessible to tethered aerostats. The telescope is suspended approximately 100 m below a tethered aerostat flying at an altitude of about 12 km. The telescope body is stabilized gyroscopically with two reaction wheels, and fine guidance of the line of sight is provided by a fast steering mirror. The telescopes primary mirrors are at the ambient temperature of 190 to 220 K, and internal baffles and relay optics are cooled to 160 K to minimize the instrumental background in the near infrared.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 June 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2478, Space Telescopes and Instruments, (2 June 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.210915
Show Author Affiliations
James N. Tilley, Ball Aerospace Systems Group (United States)
Edward J. Friedman, Ball Aerospace Systems Group (United States)
Holland C. Ford, Space Telescope Science Institute and Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Pierre Y. Bely, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2478:
Space Telescopes and Instruments
Pierre Y. Bely; James B. Breckinridge, Editor(s)

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