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Proceedings Paper

What limits the achievable areal densities of large aperture space telescopes?
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Paper Abstract

This paper examines requirements trades involving areal density for large space telescope mirrors. A segmented mirror architecture is used to define a quantitative example that leads to relevant insight about the trades. In this architecture, the mirror consists of segments of non-structural optical elements held in place by a structural truss that rests behind the segments. An analysis is presented of the driving design requirements for typical on-orbit loads and ground-test loads. It is shown that the driving on-orbit load would be the resonance of the lowest mode of the mirror by a reaction wheel static unbalance. The driving ground-test load would be dynamics due to ground-induced random vibration. Two general conclusions are derived from these results. First, the areal density that can be allocated to the segments depends on the depth allocated to the structure. More depth in the structure allows the allocation of more mass to the segments. This, however, leads to large structural depth that might be a significant development challenge. Second, the requirement for ground-test-ability results in an order of magnitude or more depth in the structure than is required by the on-orbit loads. This leads to the proposition that avoiding ground test as a driving requirement should be a fundamental technology on par with the provision of deployable depth. Both are important structural challenges for these future systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5899, UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts II, 58990A (31 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.619878
Show Author Affiliations
Lee D. Peterson, Univ. of Colorado/Boulder (United States)
Jason D. Hinkle, Univ. of Colorado/Boulder (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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