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Proceedings Paper

Wide-field off-axis new planetary telescope: science and design, new opportunities
Author(s): Jeff R. Kuhn; Gilberto Moretto
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Paper Abstract

Astronomical research requiring high photometric dynamic range is restricted by all current telescopes. Fundamental diffraction limitations and practical difficulties associated with conventional `centered' telescope optics and their mounts leads to unavoidable light scatter which can be the limiting noise source in observations of faint or diffuse objects in the presence of much brighter contaminating sources. We describe here an off-axis design for a 6.5 m astronomical telescope optimized for low scattered light and low emissivity. This is part of a new concept for a facility which we call the New Planetary Telescope (NPT). We shown how its geometrical optical performance can equal that of an on-axis conventional telescope while the diffractive performance fundamentally surpasses conventional telescopes because of the absence of pupil obstruction. The decentered NPT concept also allows wide-field and versatile instrumentation configurations that are not possible with more conventional designs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 July 2000
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4003, Optical Design, Materials, Fabrication, and Maintenance, (20 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.391521
Show Author Affiliations
Jeff R. Kuhn, Institute for Astronomy/Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa (United States)
Gilberto Moretto, Institute for Astronomy/Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4003:
Optical Design, Materials, Fabrication, and Maintenance
Philippe Dierickx, Editor(s)

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