Share Email Print
cover

Proceedings Paper

A flux-pinning mechanism for segment assembly and alignment
Author(s): Jessica A. Gersh-Range; William R. Arnold; Mason A. Peck; H. Philip Stahl
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $14.40 $18.00

Paper Abstract

Currently, the most compelling astrophysics questions include how planets and the first stars formed and whether there are protostellar disks that contain large organic molecules. Although answering these questions requires space telescopes with apertures of at least 10 meters, such large primaries are challenging to construct by scaling up previous designs; the limited capacity of a launch vehicle bounds the maximum diameter of a monolithic primary, and beyond a certain size, deployable telescopes cannot fit in current launch vehicle fairings. One potential solution is connecting the primary mirror segments edgewise using flux-pinning mechanisms, which are analogous to non-contacting damped springs. In the baseline design, a flux-pinning mechanism consists of a magnet and a superconductor separated by a predetermined gap, with the damping adjusted by placing aluminum near the interface. Since flux pinning is possible only when the superconductor is cooled below a critical temperature, flux-pinning mechanisms are uniquely suited for cryogenic space telescopes. By placing these mechanisms along the edges of the mirror segments, a primary can be built up over time. Since flux pinning requires no mechanical deployments, the assembly process could be robotic or use some other noncontacting scheme. Advantages of this approach include scalability and passive stability.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8150, Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments XIII, 815005 (29 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.893486
Show Author Affiliations
Jessica A. Gersh-Range, Cornell Univ. (United States)
William R. Arnold, Jacobs ESTS Group (United States)
Mason A. Peck, Cornell Univ. (United States)
H. Philip Stahl, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8150:
Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments XIII
James B. Heaney; E. Todd Kvamme, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top