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Proceedings Paper

An inflatable circular membrane mirror for space telescopes
Author(s): Mingwan Soh; Jun Ho Lee; Sung-Kie Youn
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Paper Abstract

The performance of ground telescopes is limited by atmospheric distortion. Nowadays all large ground telescopes adopt adaptive optics for overcoming this limitation. Sending space telescopes outside the troublesome atmosphere might be a natural solution to overcome the atmospheric distortion. However, the cost of development and launch, and the size of launch fairing severally limit this option. Inflatable optics is major candidate for overcoming these technical and budget limits. In this study, we performed thickness optimizations of a membrane mirror for the mirror to be parabolic. Our optimization showed that this optimized mirror is still not good enough for visible observation. However, with limiting the effective optical surface area, the mirror was demonstrated to be used as a primary mirror in infrared bands. In addition, the wavefront errors are also shown to main contributors: piston, defocus and spherical aberrations. Adapting an adaptive secondary mirror with 19 actuators, which has been developed for ground telescopes, could remove the major wavefront errors. Therefore, combining an inflatable primary mirror and an adaptive secondary mirror can be a candidate for future large space telescopes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5638, Optical Design and Testing II, (10 February 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.571628
Show Author Affiliations
Mingwan Soh, Hyun-Dae Motors (South Korea)
Jun Ho Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea)
Sung-Kie Youn, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5638:
Optical Design and Testing II
Yongtian Wang; Zhicheng Weng; Shenghua Ye; Jose M. Sasian, Editor(s)

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