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Proceedings Paper

10 meter airborne observatory
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Paper Abstract

Inside an aircraft fuselage there is little room for the mass of all the instrumentation of a ground-based observatory much less a primary objective aperture at the scale of 10 meters. We have proposed a solution that uses a primary objective grating (POG) which matches the considerable length of the aircraft, approximately 10 meters, and conforms to aircraft aerodynamics. Light collected by the POG is diffracted at an angle of grazing exodus inside the aircraft where it is disambiguated by an optical train that fits within to the interior tunnel. Inside the aircraft, light is focused by a parabolic mirror onto a spectrograph slit. The design has a special benefit in that all objects in the field-of-view of the free spectral range of the POG can have their spectra taken as the aircraft changes orientation. We suggest flight planes that will improve integration times, angular resolution and spectral resolution to acquire targets of high stellar magnitudes or alternatively increase the number of sources acquired per flight at the cost of sensitivity.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 July 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 70142J (9 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.790261
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas D. Ditto, DeWitt Brothers Tool Co., Inc. (United States)
Joseph M. Ritter, Institute for Astronomy, Univ. of Hawaii (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7014:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
Ian S. McLean; Mark M. Casali, Editor(s)

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