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Proceedings Paper

Optical design of giant telescopes for space
Author(s): James H. Burge; Erin M. Sabatke; James Roger P. Angel; Neville J. Woolf
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Paper Abstract

Increased performance for optical telescopes has historically come from larger apertures, from technological advances for the telescope components, such as detectors, and from access to better sites, such as space. Little has changed in the basic telescope design for a century. These conventional designs have served us well and will continue to do so with the Next Generation Space Telescope. There is an upper limit to the size of thsi type of telescope, set by the capacity to launch the required mass. For future space telescopes of 50, 100, 500 meter apertures, we have developed a new type of optical design. We use a primary reflector made from segments of flat and near-flat membranes. The secondary reflector and subsequent optics are supported in separate spacecraft, flying in formation with the primary reflector. In addition, each spacecraft maintains sunshields to keep the optics shaded from the sun. This paper explores the optical design issues for this type of giant space telescope.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 October 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4092, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization III, (2 October 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.402424
Show Author Affiliations
James H. Burge, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Erin M. Sabatke, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
James Roger P. Angel, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Neville J. Woolf, Univ. of Arizona (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4092:
Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization III
Jose M. Sasian, Editor(s)

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