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Proceedings Paper

Structural design considerations for an 8-m space telescope
Author(s): William r. Arnold; H. Philip Stahl
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Paper Abstract

NASA's upcoming ARES V launch vehicle, with its' immense payload capacities (both volume and mass) has opened the possibilities for a whole new paradigm of space observatories. It becomes practical to consider a monolith mirror of sufficient size to permit significant scientific advantages, both in collection area and smoothness or figure at a reasonable price. The technologies and engineering to manufacture and test 8 meter class monoliths is mature, with nearly a dozen of such mirrors already in operation around the world. This paper will discuss the design requirements to adapt an 8m meniscus mirror into a Space Telescope System, both launch and operational considerations are included. With objects this massive and structurally sensitive, the mirror design must include all stages of the process. Based upon the experiences of the Hubble Space Telescope, testing and verification at both component and integrated system levels are considered vital to mission success. To this end, two different component level test methods for gravity sag (the so call zero- gravity simulation or test mount) are proposed, with one of these methods suitable for the full up system level testing as well.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 August 2009
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 7425, Optical Materials and Structures Technologies IV, 74250R (21 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.838308
Show Author Affiliations
William r. Arnold, Jacobs ESTS Group (United States)
H. Philip Stahl, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7425:
Optical Materials and Structures Technologies IV
Joseph L. Robichaud; William A. Goodman, Editor(s)

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