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Proceedings Paper

The Large Deployable Reflector - A Technology Development Challenge
Author(s): R.Bruce Pittman; Richard Gualdoni
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Paper Abstract

The large deployable reflector (LDR) is a proposed orbital astrophysical facility of substantial aperture (about 20 m in diameter) designed to obtain astronomical observations at infrared and submillimeter wavelengths. LDR has been strongly recommended by the Astronomy Survey Committee of the National Academy of Science (the Field Committee) for implementation in the mid to late 1990's. The technology to implement such a program within acceptable cost and risk constraints does not currently exist. NASA is now in the planning stages for a 5 year technology development program that will allow the requisite technology to be developed to an adequate level to enable LDR to be implemented. A LDR workshop was held in June 1982, at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California. A group of nearly 100 scientists, engineers, and technologists from government, industry, and academia convened at Asilomar for one week to look at the fundamental questions concerning LDR. The scientists looked at the scientific rationale for LDR in order to reach a consensus agreement on what scientific observations LDR should undertake, and then having done this, to develop the scientific requirements for LDR such as angular resolution, field of view, etc. The technologists and engineers then used these science requirements to produce system and subsystem requirements. These telescope requirements were then compared to the current and projected state of technology development in each area. The two groups iterated until a set of consensus science and telescope requirements were arrived at that could be implemented in the 1990's. This paper will discuss the activities that have taken place since the Asilomar Workshop and specifically discuss current plans that NASA has to develop this enabling technology to support LDR. For programs as large and ambitious as LDR, it is necessary to realistically assess the state of the applicable generic technology growth, both civilian and military, and to augment it as needed. Assessing the current technology needs of LDR and comparing these needs to the projected generic technology development is a key goal in the near term LDR activity. The current and projected state of the key LDR technologies will be described as well as how shortfalls in technology development will be satisfied.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 October 1984
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0493, Optical Platforms, (23 October 1984); doi: 10.1117/12.943788
Show Author Affiliations
R.Bruce Pittman, NASA Ames Research Center (United States)
Richard Gualdoni, NASA Headquarters (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0493:
Optical Platforms
Charles L. Wyman, Editor(s)

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