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Proceedings Paper

Integrated modeling for determining launch survival and limitations for actuated lightweight mirrors
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Paper Abstract

The future of space telescopes lies in large, lightweight, segmented aperture systems. Segmented apertures eliminate manufacturability and launch vehicle fairing diameter as apertures size constraints. Low areal density, actuated segments allow the systems to meet both launch mass restrictions and on-orbit wavefront error requirements. These systems, with silicon carbide as a leading material, have great potential for increasing the productivity, affordability, and manufacturability of future space-based optical systems. Thus far, progress has been made on the manufacturing, sensing, actuation, and on-orbit control of such systems. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the harsh environment of launch. The launch environment may dominate aspects of the design of the mirror segments, with survivability requirements eliminating many potentially good designs. Integrated modeling of a mirror segment can help identify trends in mirror geometries that maximize launch performance, ensuring survivability without drastically over designing the mirror. A finite element model of a single, ribbed, actuated, silicon carbide mirror segment is created, and is used to develop a dynamic, state-space model, with launch load spectra as disturbance inputs, and mirror stresses as performance outputs. The parametric nature of this model allows analysis of many geometrically different mirror segments, helping to identify key parameters for launch survival. The modeling method described herein will enable identification of the design decisions that are dominated by launch, and will allow for development of launch-load alleviation techniques to further push the areal density boundaries in support of the creation of larger and lighter mirrors than previously possible.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7010, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 70102I (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789079
Show Author Affiliations
Lucy E. Cohan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
David W. Miller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7010:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
Jacobus M. Oschmann; Mattheus W. M. de Graauw; Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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