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Proceedings Paper

Ultralightweight silicon carbide infrared cryogenic telescope
Author(s): Michael I. Anapol; Richard Philippon; Theodore W. Tucker; Dean Kraft; Jeff Bond
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Paper Abstract

A wide range of next generation spaceborne strategic and measurement/science applications require very lightweight, low cost, reflective telescopes with wide wavelength coverage, capable of near diffraction limited image quality over wide temperature ranges to cryogenic operation. A silicon carbide (SiC) telescope is an extremely attractive technology which offers (1) the lightweight and stiffness features of beryllium, (2) the optical performance of glass to visible quality, (3) superior optical/thermal stability to cryogenic temperatures, and (4) the low cost, fast fabrication processes of aluminum. This paper describes an ultralightweight (less than 1.5 kg), 18 cm aperture, 4 mirror off axis re-imaging infrared SiC telescope assembly designed in a 'flight-worthy' configuration. The overall design approach is described including comparison of telescope structural analysis to vibration test data. The telescope optical performance has been measured from 300 degrees Kelvin to less than 100 degrees Kelvin, including repeated thermal cycles; the rms wavefront change over this temperature range at 10.6 micrometer is less than 0.02 waves with no observed hysteresis, which demonstrates SiC technology to satisfy near diffraction limited infrared capability at cryogenic temperatures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 October 1995
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2543, Silicon Carbide Materials for Optics and Precision Structures, (23 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.225293
Show Author Affiliations
Michael I. Anapol, Sensor Systems Group, Inc. (United States)
Richard Philippon, Sensor Systems Group, Inc. (United States)
Theodore W. Tucker, Sensor Systems Group, Inc. (United States)
Dean Kraft, U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command (United States)
Jeff Bond, U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2543:
Silicon Carbide Materials for Optics and Precision Structures
Mark A. Ealey, Editor(s)

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