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Proceedings Paper

Monolithic versus segmented primary mirror concepts for space telescopes
Author(s): Stephen E. Kendrick
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Paper Abstract

A number of ongoing astrophysical mission concept studies are based on large aperture spaceborne telescopes. As optics get larger, both manufacturing and engineering trades come into consideration and must be balanced with the science goals and requirements. One of the top-level telescope trades examines the impact of a large monolithic primary mirror versus an array of smaller mirror segments to either fully or sparsely populate the same aperture. The first consideration is the scientific impact. Should the scattered edge effects and diffraction of a segmented design be acceptable, it then becomes a fabrication, test, and cost trade along with any associated risks. This paper will examine some of the key factors that go into such a trade and looks at manufacturing breakpoints. Examples such as the 4-m aperture New World Observer (NWO) and the 8-m aperture Advanced Technology Large Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST) will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 August 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7426, Optical Manufacturing and Testing VIII, 74260O (21 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.824475
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen E. Kendrick, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7426:
Optical Manufacturing and Testing VIII
James H. Burge; Oliver W. Fähnle; Ray Williamson, Editor(s)

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