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Proceedings Paper

Photon sieve telescope
Author(s): Geoff Andersen; Drew Tullson
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Paper Abstract

In designing next-generation, ultra-large (>20m) apertures for space, many current concepts involve compactable, curved membrane reflectors. Here we present the idea of using a flat diffractive element that requires no out-of-plane deformation and so is much simpler to deploy. The primary is a photon sieve - a diffractive element consisting of a large number of precisely positioned holes distributed according to an underlying Fresnel Zone Plate (FZP) geometry. The advantage of the photon sieve over the FZP is that all the regions are connected, so the membrane substrate under simple tension can avoid buckling. Also, the hole distribution can be varied to generate any conic or apodization for specialized telescope requirements such as exo-solar planet detection. We have designed and tested numerous photon sieves as telescope primaries. Some of these have over 10 million holes in a 0.1 m diameter aperture and all of them give diffraction limited imaging. While photon sieves are diffractive elements and thus suffer from dispersion, we will present two successful solutions to this problem.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 June 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 626523 (14 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.669524
Show Author Affiliations
Geoff Andersen, USAF Academy (United States)
Drew Tullson, USAF Academy (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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