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Proceedings Paper

Curved focal plane wide-field-of-view telescope design
Author(s): Timothy P. Grayson
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Paper Abstract

Ground-based surveillance of deep space has traditionally been the purview of optical telescope systems. Unlike their imaging counterparts, space surveillance telescopes emphasize wide field of view (FOV) over resolution, permitted the most rapid survey of the entire sky. At the same time there is a constant push to detect ever fainter objects, such as small pieces of space debris or small, distant asteroids. Unfortunately increased sensitivity requires very large aperture diameters, which when combined with the requirement for wide FOV results in very fast f/# telescopes. How far this set of requirements can be expanded is typically limited by large, complex, and costly corrector optics to flatten the wavefront. An alternative approach is to design the telescope to a curved focal plane. This is an approach that was once taken with film, but it has not been feasible with electronic focal plane arrays (FPA). A major break-through in FPA design may open up a new range of telescope design options. A new array fabrication technique now provides the ability to produce FPAs with a specified degree of curvature while preserving required electro-optical characteristics. This paper presents a design for a new space surveillance telescope utilizing these curved FPAs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 December 2002
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4849, Highly Innovative Space Telescope Concepts, (18 December 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.460757
Show Author Affiliations
Timothy P. Grayson, DARPA (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4849:
Highly Innovative Space Telescope Concepts
Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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