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Proceedings Paper

Image quality prediction for the SOFIA Telescope using actual mirror data
Author(s): Hermann Bittner; Matthias Erdmann
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Paper Abstract

The airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy SOFIA has a 2.7-m Cassegrain telescope with Nasmyth focus. The optical elements of the telescope are a 2.7-m diameter Zerodur parabolic primary mirror, mounted in a CFRP mirror support structure, a 0.35-m diameter convex silicon carbide secondary mirror, mounted on a chopping mechanism, and a plane dichroic tertiary mirror element. The nominal telescope focal length is 49.14 m. There are several distortion contributions to the total image quality. Among these are alignment errors, fabrication imperfections stemming from the manufacturing and polishing processes, static and dynamic mirror surface deformations caused by the mounting forces due to gravity and temperature effects and forces induced by aircraft vibra-tions and aerodynamic effects, and diffraction effects. The paper presents simulations for the image quality using wave-front performance data actually measured with the finished mirrors, where the primary was even mounted in its support structure. The influence of the static distortion contributions is also quantified.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 March 2003
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4857, Airborne Telescope Systems II, (3 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.458640
Show Author Affiliations
Hermann Bittner, Kayser-Threde GmbH (Germany)
Matthias Erdmann, Kayser-Threde GmbH (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4857:
Airborne Telescope Systems II
Ramsey K. Melugin; Hans-Peter Roeser, Editor(s)

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