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Proceedings Paper

Optical and system engineering in the development of a high-quality student telescope kit
Author(s): Stephen M. Pompea; Richard N. Pfisterer; Scott Ellis; Douglas N. Arion; Richard Tresch Fienberg; Thomas C. Smith
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Paper Abstract

The Galileoscope student telescope kit was developed by a volunteer team of astronomers, science education experts, and optical engineers in conjunction with the International Year of Astronomy 2009. This refracting telescope is in production with over 180,000 units produced and distributed with 25,000 units in production. The telescope was designed to be able to resolve the rings of Saturn and to be used in urban areas. The telescope system requirements, performance metrics, and architecture were established after an analysis of current inexpensive telescopes and student telescope kits. The optical design approaches used in the various prototypes and the optical system engineering tradeoffs will be described. Risk analysis, risk management, and change management were critical as was cost management since the final product was to cost around $15 (but had to perform as well as $100 telescopes). In the system engineering of the Galileoscope a variety of analysis and testing approaches were used, including stray light design and analysis using the powerful optical analysis program FRED™.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 August 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7738, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy IV, 773803 (4 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.858216
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen M. Pompea, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Richard N. Pfisterer, Photon Engineering LLC (United States)
Scott Ellis, Photon Engineering LLC (United States)
Douglas N. Arion, Carthage College (United States)
Richard Tresch Fienberg, American Astronomical Society (United States)
Thomas C. Smith, Merit Models (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7738:
Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy IV
George Z. Angeli; Philippe Dierickx, Editor(s)

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