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Proceedings Paper

A Large-Aperture Space Telescope For Infrared And Submillimeter Astronomy
Author(s): James P. Murphy; Michael K. Kiya; Michael Werner; Paul N. Swanson; Thomas B. H. Kuiper; Paul D. Batelaan
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Paper Abstract

Large apertures improve the capability of astronomical telescopes in two ways: increased spatial resolution (linearly dependent on aperture size) and increased sensitivity (dependent on aperture size squared). For the purpose of a technology assessment, the Large-Aperture Telescope (LAT) for infrared and submillimeter astronomy is envisioned to be 10 to 30 m in diameter, operating in the 2-μm ≤ λ ≤ 1000-μm wavelength range. It would be carried to orbit with a single launch of the Space Transportation System and semi-automatically deployed as a free flyer with a nominal 10-yr mission duration. Periodic revisits at 2-yr intervals would allow servicing and instrument change. LAT must be placed above the Earth's atmosphere to avoid the absorption that occurs through much of the infrared and submillimeter, and to avoid turbulence which limits spatial resolution. Important technical considerations for LAT include: (1) telescope optical form, (2) primary mirror material, (3) figure control techniques, (4) deployment techniques, (5) pointing and stabilization, and (6) thermal control. This paper discusses the science objectives and rationale for LAT and describes different hardware techniques and concepts for its implementation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 August 1980
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 0228, Active Optical Devices and Applications, (15 August 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.958775
Show Author Affiliations
James P. Murphy, NASA (United States)
Michael K. Kiya, NASA (United States)
Michael Werner, NASA (United States)
Paul N. Swanson, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Thomas B. H. Kuiper, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Paul D. Batelaan, California Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0228:
Active Optical Devices and Applications
William J. Cuneo, Editor(s)

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