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Proceedings Paper

Primary Mirror And Mount Technology For The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Telescope
Author(s): R K. Melugin; L S. Chang; J A. Mansfield; S. D. Howard
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Paper Abstract

Studies have been conducted at the Ames Research Center on the feasibility of concepts for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). This paper summarizes studies of the feasibility of the SOFIA telescope primary mirror and its mounting. The primary mirror is required to be very lightweight (areal density approximately 100 kg/m2), have an f/ratio near 1.0, and have surface quality that permits imaging in the visible as well as the infrared. Data on large mirror technology is presented to represent the space of areal density and size defined by current and projected technology. The desired subspace for the SOFIA primary mirror is identified. Also described in the paper are the results of the design study conducted to assess the feasibility of designing a suitable mounting system for the primary mirror. The requirements for the mount design are given both in terms of the environmental conditions and the expected optical performance. The mirror and mounting was modeled using Programs PATRAN and NASTRAN. The mirror studied was a sandwich-type made of Ultra Low Expansion (ULE) silica with square cells in the core, and with a continuous edge band. The mirror is modeled using equivalent solid elements for the core. Several mount designs were evaluated, having different numbers of axial supports. The design study produced primary mirror surface deflections in 1 g as a function of mirror elevation angles. The surface was analyzed using an optical analysis program, FRINGE, to give a prediction of the mirror optical performance. Results from this analysis are included.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 1988
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 0973, Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments III, (27 April 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.948365
Show Author Affiliations
R K. Melugin, NASA Ames Research Center. (United States)
L S. Chang, NASA Ames Research Center (United States)
J A. Mansfield, NASA Ames Research Center (United States)
S. D. Howard, Information Management, Inc (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0973:
Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments III
Ramsey K. Melugin; Warren G. Pierce, Editor(s)

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