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Proceedings Paper

Orbital Operations with the Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF)
Author(s): M. W. Werner; K. R. Lorell
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Paper Abstract

The Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) is a cryogenically-cooled, 1-m-class telescope that will be operated from the Space Shuttle as an observatory for infrared astronomy. Over the 2- to 200-μm band, SIRTF will be 100 to 1000 times more sensitive than existing infrared facilities. This paper discusses the scientific constraints on and the requirements for pointing and controlling SIRTF as well as several aspects of SIRTF orbital operations. The basic pointing requirement is for an rms stability of 0.25 arcsec, which is necessary to realize the full angular resolution of the 5-μm diffraction-limited SIRTF. Achieving this stability requires the use of hardware and software integral to SIRTF working interactively with the gyrostabilized Shuttle pointing-mount. The higher sensitivity of SIRTF, together with orbital and time constraints, puts a premium on rapid target acquisition and on efficient operational and observational procedures. Several possible acquisition modes are discussed, and the importance of source acquisition by maximizing the output of an infrared detector is emphasized. The ability of the pointing-mount to slew the telescope over a range of angles is discussed, including its capability for executing raster scans over limited areas. Both minimum-time scans and constant-rate scans, which may take significantly longer in some cases, are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 1981
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 0265, Shuttle Pointing of Electro-Optical Experiments, (3 April 1981); doi: 10.1117/12.959881
Show Author Affiliations
M. W. Werner, NASA (United States)
K. R. Lorell, NASA (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0265:
Shuttle Pointing of Electro-Optical Experiments
William Jerkovsky, Editor(s)

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