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Multispectral optical telescope alignment testing for a cryogenic space environment
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Paper Abstract

Multispectral space telescopes with visible to long wave infrared spectral bands provide difficult alignment challenges. The visible channels require precision in alignment and stability to provide good image quality in short wavelengths. This is most often accomplished by choosing materials with near zero thermal expansion glass or ceramic mirrors metered with carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) that are designed to have a matching thermal expansion. The IR channels are less sensitive to alignment but they often require cryogenic cooling for improved sensitivity with the reduced radiometric background. Finding efficient solutions to this difficult problem of maintaining good visible image quality at cryogenic temperatures has been explored with the building and testing of a telescope simulator. The telescope simulator is an onaxis ZERODUR® mirror, CFRP metered set of optics. Testing has been completed to accurately measure telescope optical element alignment and mirror figure changes in a cryogenic space simulated environment. Measured alignment error and mirror figure error test results are reported with a discussion of their impact on system optical performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 2016
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 9951, Optical System Alignment, Tolerancing, and Verification X, 995102 (27 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2237889
Show Author Affiliations
Trent Newswander, Space Dynamics Lab. (United States)
Preston Hooser, Space Dynamics Lab. (United States)
James Champagne, Space Dynamics Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9951:
Optical System Alignment, Tolerancing, and Verification X
José Sasián; Richard N. Youngworth, Editor(s)

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