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Proceedings Paper

Optimizing the cryogenic test configuration for the James Webb Space Telescope
Author(s): Tony L. Whitman; Thomas R. Scorse
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Paper Abstract

The optical system test for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) requires one of the largest available vacuum chambers operating at cryogenic temperatures (<45K). The test includes verification of a segmented 6.6m-diameter primary mirror with a radius of curvature of 16m. In addition, the chamber must accommodate flight instruments and test equipment above and below the telescope. ITT, under contract for this test, teamed with Northrop Grumman Space Technology (NGST), the prime contractor, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to optimize the test configuration. The new configuration minimizes operation within the chamber, leverages recent technologies in interferometry to minimize ground-based environmental influences, and utilizes the chamber itself as the test bench to reduce the cryogenic thermal mass. The result enables an effective system-level test in Chamber A at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC).

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 June 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6271, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy II, 62710B (12 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.672994
Show Author Affiliations
Tony L. Whitman, ITT Space Systems Division (United States)
Thomas R. Scorse, ITT Space Systems Division (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6271:
Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy II
Martin J. Cullum; George Z. Angeli, Editor(s)

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