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Proceedings Paper

Pointing control system design and performance evaluation of TPF coronagraph
Author(s): Kuo-Chia Liu; Carl Blaurock; Gary E. Mosier
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Paper Abstract

The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) project aims to detect and characterize extra-solar Earth-like planets. The coronagraph telescope is one of the two mission concepts being studied. To reject the star flux and detect the planet flux in the visible light range, the coronagraph telescope must achieve a rejection ratio on the order of a billion to one. Dynamic jitter, introduced by environmental and on-board mechanical disturbances, degrades the optical performance, as characterized primarily by contrast ratio. The feasibility of using passive vibration isolation combined with active attitude and line-of-sight (LOS) control systems to stabilize the spacecraft and the optical components to the requisite level is being studied. The telescope is also required to slew between targets or rotate around the LOS. The slew mode control law must be designed to balance the need for efficient large-angle maneuvers while simultaneously avoiding the excitation of flexible modes in order to minimize settling time. This paper provides an overview of the current control design concept and sensor/actuator topology for TPF Coronagraph and illustrates the fine pointing performance of the telescope. This performance is primarily a function of the rejection of high-frequency dynamic disturbances, in this case due to reaction wheel disturbance forces/torques transmitted through the passive isolation stage. Trade studies between isolator force rejection and disturbance level reduction via wheel redesign are also presented to illustrate the requirements imposed on current technologies. Finally, the paper summarizes preliminary results on the slew/settle performance of the telescope.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5497, Modeling and Systems Engineering for Astronomy, (16 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552204
Show Author Affiliations
Kuo-Chia Liu, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Carl Blaurock, Mide Technology Corp. (United States)
Gary E. Mosier, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5497:
Modeling and Systems Engineering for Astronomy
Simon C. Craig; Martin J. Cullum, Editor(s)

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