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Proceedings Paper

Gossamer optics technology workshop
Author(s): Neville J. Woolf; James W. Bilbro
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Paper Abstract

As NASA moves forward into the 21st Century, many science missions are being considered that will require optics of unprecedented size. If the launches of these missions are to be affordable, then new technology must be developed to reduce the surface densities of the optical/mechanical systems from current hundreds of kilograms per square meter down to kilograms per square meter and tenths of kilograms per square meter. Also we must greatly increase the collecting aperture of telescope systems to hundreds and thousands of square meters without incurring current costs of mirror blank manufacture and polishing. To this end, a workshop was convened which brought together scientists and engineers to examine the optics requirements of these missions and to begin the process of identifying the technological developments required to bring these systems to reality. This paper describes the workshop, the general telescope architectures considered and identifies the initial assessment of the 'tall tent pole' technologies. Finally it gives an overview of the character of the approaches and the 'gossamer optics problems.'

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 October 2000
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 4091, Imaging Technology and Telescopes, (31 October 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.405767
Show Author Affiliations
Neville J. Woolf, Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)
James W. Bilbro, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4091:
Imaging Technology and Telescopes
James W. Bilbro; James B. Breckinridge; Mark J. Eckart; James B. Breckinridge; Richard A. Carreras; Richard A. Carreras; James W. Bilbro; Stanley R. Czyzak; Robert D. Fiete; Mark J. Eckart; Robert D. Fiete; Paul S. Idell, Editor(s)

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