Proceedings PaperDevelopment Of A Three-Mirror, Wide-Field Sensor, From Paper Design To Hardware
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The Landsat Thematic Mapper imagers have provided moderate resolution, multispectral imagery of the Earth for the past 7 years. Yet, the need exists for higher spatial and spectral resolution and better radiometric accuracy. Santa Barbara Research Center has been exploring technology related to the design, tolerance, and alignment of wide-field, all-reflective sensors for multispectral earth observation. The goals of this study were to design an optical system with reduced fabrication risks, to develop a detailed tolerance budget and to demonstrate precision alignment of a laboratory demonstration unit. The telescope is a three-mirror unobscured form that is telecentric and flat field over 15 degrees at F/4.5, and is diffraction-limited at visible wavelengths. A computer-aided alignment approach aligned the telescope to the budgeted tolerance of 0.05 waves rms at 0.6328 microns. Details of the design, tolerance, and alignment of this telescope are described in two earlier papers. This paper consolidates the findings of those two and emphasizes the importance of keeping the hardware in mind from very early in the design.