Share Email Print

Proceedings Paper

Daytime use of astronomical telescopes for deep-space optical links
Author(s): W. Thomas Roberts; Gerardo G. Ortiz; Timothy A. Boyd
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $17.00 $21.00

Paper Abstract

Tests at the 200-inch Hale Telescope on Palomar Mountain have demonstrated this telescope's ability to withstand considerable thermal stress, and subsequently produce remarkably unaffected results. During the day of June 29, 2005, the Hale telescope dome was left open, and the telescope was exposed to outside air and direct sunlight for 8 hours. During this time, portions of the telescope structure in the telescope's optical path experienced temperature elevations of 30 C, while the primary mirror experienced unprecedented heating of over 3 C. The telescope's measured blind pointing accuracy after this exposure was not noticeably degraded from the measurements taken before exposure. More remarkably, the telescope consistently produced stellar images which were significantly better after exposure of the telescope (1.2 arcsec) than before (1.6 arcsec), even though the conditions of observation were similar. This data is the first step in co-opting astronomical telescopes for daytime use as astronomical receivers, and supports the contention that deleterious effects from daytime exposure of the telescope can be held to an acceptable level for interleaved communications and astronomy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6105, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XVIII, 61050G (1 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.660256
Show Author Affiliations
W. Thomas Roberts, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Gerardo G. Ortiz, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Timothy A. Boyd, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6105:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XVIII
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top
Sign in to read the full article
Create a free SPIE account to get access to
premium articles and original research
Forgot your username?