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Proceedings Paper

Point-spread function stability of the SNAP telescope
Author(s): M. J. Sholl; R. Besuner; P. Jelinsky; M. L. Lampton
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Paper Abstract

SNAP is a proposed space-based experiment designed to study dark energy and alternate explanations of the acceleration of the universe's expansion by performing a series of complementary systematic-controlled astrophysical measurements. The principal mission activities are the construction of an accurate Type Ia supernova Hubble diagram (the supernova program), and conducting a wide-area weak gravitational lensing (WL) survey. WL measurements benefit from a highly constant point spread function (PSF). The goal of this study is to quantify the anticipated variations in PSF arising from on-orbit thermal variations and and shrinkage associated with dryout of the composite telescope metering structure. A combined thermo-mechanical-optical analysis tool was developed, and WL metrics whisker and effective anisotropy quantified for thermal and composite structure dryout effects. Stability limits necessary for WL are defined, and compared to stability tolerances defined for the supernova program. The mission is designed for operations at at the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point, where thermal disturbances from Earth are minimal. In this study, the effects of seasonal variations in solar flux, transients introduced when pointing the body-fixed Ka-band antenna toward Earth and 90° roll maneuvers (planned every three months of operations) are quantified, and introduced into the optical system. Whisker and effective anisotropy were computed, and found to be well below the WL requirement for stability. The effects of composite structure shrinkage due to on-orbit H2O desorption are discussed, and estimated to be below WL limits for daily observations, at the beginning of the WL phase of the mission.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5899, UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts II, 589903 (31 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.619624
Show Author Affiliations
M. J. Sholl, Univ. of California/Berkeley (United States)
R. Besuner, Robert Besuner Consulting (United States)
P. Jelinsky, Univ. of California/Berkeley (United States)
M. L. Lampton, Univ. of California/Berkeley (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5899:
UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts II
Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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