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Proceedings Paper

Air force research laboratory's technology programs addressing deployable space optical systems
Author(s): Kevin Dean Bell; Michael K. Powers; Steven Fulton Griffin; Steven Huybrechts
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Paper Abstract

The US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) has integrated several technology development efforts together to form a cohesive approach for enabling deployable optical systems in the future. Aperture size dominates the cost/architecture trades for space based laser systems for missile defense and tactical imaging system pursuing broad area coverage with local access. Larger apertures allow both systems to consider higher orbits, offering greater fields of regard. However, large monolithic apertures quickly run into launch vehicle faring volumetric and throw mass constraints. Several technologies may enable space deployable of optical segments to form a large primary mirror at a reduced mass, circumventing the launch vehicle constraints. However, to produce an optically phased wavefront, a combination of technologies, deployment mechanisms, lightweight structures and mirrors, mirror mount isolators and actuators, adaptive optics, and processing techniques, must be applied in concert. While this paper concentrates on the hardware development activities under the UltraLITE program, namely the Precision Deployable Optical Structure ground demonstration and the brassboard Deployable Space Telescope, it will also briefly cover and provide references to related technology programs on-going at the AFRL.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 1998
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 3356, Space Telescopes and Instruments V, (28 August 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.324475
Show Author Affiliations
Kevin Dean Bell, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Michael K. Powers, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Steven Fulton Griffin, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Steven Huybrechts, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3356:
Space Telescopes and Instruments V
Pierre Y. Bely; James B. Breckinridge, Editor(s)

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