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Proceedings Paper

Design of a compact wide field telescope for space situational awareness
Author(s): David Lee; Andrew Born; Philip Parr-Burman; Peter Hastings; Brian Stobie; Naidu Bezawada
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Paper Abstract

The European Space Agency, in the framework of its Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Preparatory Programme, has commissioned a study for a global network of surveillance telescopes to monitor the ever increasing number of objects in Earth orbit. A possible scenario identified by the study is a network of 20 SSA Telescopes located at various observatory sites. This paper presents the conceptual design of a telescope system optimised for wide field, short exposures and fast tracking – all requirements of SSA. The requirements of the SSA telescope will be presented followed by a brief review of potential telescope technologies. Following a trade study analysis a 1 m compact Schmidt telescope design was chosen. This design provides a field of view of 3.4 degrees diameter. The design is achromatic and covers the wavelength range 380 – 900 nm. The sensitivity of the telescope is such that it can monitor the orbital parameters of objects as small as 1 cm in low Earth orbit. This is equivalent to 17th magnitude in 0.07 seconds at a signal to noise ratio of 5. The telescope is mounted on an Altitude- Azimuth type mount that enables wide coverage of the sky and fast tracking speeds. The entire telescope is contained within a Calotte type enclosure. The camera, detector control, and telescope control system design will also be presented. Systems engineering aspects will be addressed, with particular attention given to the analysis and flow-down of requirements and a practical and pragmatic process of system-level design trade-offs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2012
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84440F (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926076
Show Author Affiliations
David Lee, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
Andrew Born, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
Philip Parr-Burman, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
Peter Hastings, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
Brian Stobie, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
Naidu Bezawada, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8444:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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