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Proceedings Paper

Aligning and maintaining the optics for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) on-orbit: the wavefront sensing and control concept of operations
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Paper Abstract

From its orbit around the Earth-Sun second Lagrange point some million miles from Earth, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be uniquely suited to study early galaxy and star formation with its suite of infrared instruments. To maintain exceptional image quality using its 6.6 meter segmented primary mirror, wavefront sensing and control (WFS&C) is vital to ensure the optical alignment of the telescope throughout the mission. WFS&C design architecture includes using the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) to provide imagery for ground-resident image processing algorithms which determine the optimal alignment of the telescope. There are two distinct mission phases for WFS&C, both of which use algorithms and NIRCam imagery to determine the required segment updates. For the first phase, WFS&C commissioning, the telescope is taken from its initial deployed state with each of the 18 primary mirror segments acting like independent telescopes, to its final phased state with each segment acting in concert as a part of a single mirror. The second phase, Wavefront Monitoring and Maintenance, continues for the rest of the mission. Here the wavefront quality is evaluated, and when needed, the mirror positions are updated to bring it back to an optimal configuration. This paper discusses the concept of operations for the commissioning and on-going maintenance of the telescope alignment using WFS&C.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 June 2006
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 62650X (10 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.669067
Show Author Affiliations
Adam R. Contos, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
D. Scott Acton, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Paul D. Atcheson, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Allison A. Barto, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Paul A. Lightsey, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Duncan M. Shields, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6265:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
John C. Mather; Howard A. MacEwen; Mattheus W. M. de Graauw, Editor(s)

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