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Proceedings Paper

A space imaging concept based on a 4m structured spun-cast borosilicate monolithic primary mirror
Author(s): S. C. West; S. H. Bailey; S. Bauman; B. Cuerden; Z. Granger; B. H. Olbert
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Paper Abstract

Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMC) tasked The University of Arizona Steward Observatory (UASO) to conduct an engineering study to examine the feasibility of creating a 4m space telescope based on mature borosilicate technology developed at the UASO for ground-based telescopes. UASO has completed this study and concluded that existing launch vehicles can deliver a 4m monolithic telescope system to a 500 km circular orbit and provide reliable imagery at NIIRS 7-8. An analysis of such an imager based on a lightweight, high-performance, structured 4m primary mirror cast from borosilicate glass is described. The relatively high CTE of this glass is used to advantage by maintaining mirror shape quality with a thermal figuring method. Placed in a 290 K thermal shroud (similar to the Hubble Space Telescope), the orbit averaged figure surface error is 6nm rms when earth-looking. Space-looking optical performance shows that a similar thermal conditioning scheme combined with a 270 K shroud achieves primary mirror distortion of 10 nm rms surface. Analysis shows that a 3-point bipod mount will provide launch survivability with ample margin. The primary mirror naturally maintains its shape at 1g allowing excellent end-to-end pre-launch testing with e.g. the LOTIS 6.5m Collimator. The telescope includes simple systems to measure and correct mirror shape and alignment errors incorporating technologies already proven on the LOTIS Collimator. We have sketched a notional earth-looking 4m telescope concept combined with a wide field TMA concept into a DELTA IV or ATLAS 552 EELV fairing. We have combined an initial analysis of launch and space performance of a special light-weighted honeycomb borosilicate mirror (areal density 95 kg/m2) with public domain information on the existing launch vehicles.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 2010
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 7731, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 77311O (5 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857750
Show Author Affiliations
S. C. West, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
S. H. Bailey, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
S. Bauman, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (United States)
B. Cuerden, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Z. Granger, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. (United States)
B. H. Olbert, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7731:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Jacobus M. Oschmann; Mark C. Clampin; Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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