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Proceedings Paper

A general purpose astronomy small satellite: an approach to low-cost space telescope design using space-qualified ground telescopes
Author(s): Natasha Bosanac; Sydney Do; Hui Ying Wen; Anthony Wicht
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Paper Abstract

The General Purpose Astronomy - Small Satellite (GPA-SS) project studied the feasibility of developing a useful space telescope with a cost to launch below $100 million. An optical telescope assembly (OTA) designed for ground use is proposed for use in a space mission in order to take advantage of the economies of scale in existing mirror fabrication processes. This paper details the additional design, manufacture and test tasks required to flight-qualify the ground telescope. A near-infrared imaging space telescope was costed as a potential mission. Key subsystems were designed at a conceptual level. This design was used both to estimate subsystem costs and to inform the science achievable from a given telescope design. Subsystem costs were estimated from the design through a combination of previously published cost estimating relationships and vendor quotes. This paper concludes that the space-qualification of an existing ground telescope is a potential approach for making significant cost savings when designing a low cost space telescope. Additional work on design and cost estimation around the framework presented in this paper could be undertaken to add certainty to the cost estimate.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7731, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 77311P (5 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.858018
Show Author Affiliations
Natasha Bosanac, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Sydney Do, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Hui Ying Wen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Anthony Wicht, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (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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