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Proceedings Paper

An Astrometric Facility For Planetary Detection On The Space Station
Author(s): Kenji Nishioka; Jeffrey D. Scargle; John J. Givens
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Paper Abstract

An Astrometric Telescope Facility (ATF) for planetary detection is being studied as a potential Space Station initial operating capability payload. The primary science objective of this mission is the detection and study of planetary systems around other stars. In addition, the facility will be capable of other astrometric measurements such as stellar motions of other galaxies and highly precise direct measurement of stellar distances within the Milky Way Galaxy. This paper summarizes the results of a recently completed ATF preliminary systems definition study. Results of this study indicate that the preliminary concept for the facility is fully capable of meeting the science objectives without the development of any new technologies. This preliminary systems study started with the following basic assumptions: 1) the facility will be placed in orbit by a single Shuttle launch, 2) the Space Station will provide a coarse pointing system , electrical power, communications, assembly and checkout, maintenance and refurbishment services, and 3) the facility will be operated from a ground facility. With these assumptions and the science performance requirements a preliminary "strawman" facility was designed. The strawman facility design with a prime-focus telescope of 1.25-m aperture, f-ratio of 13 and a single prime-focus instrument was chosen to minimize random and systemmatic errors. Total facility mass is 5100 kg and overall dimensions are 1.85-m diam by 21.5-m long. A simple straightforward operations approach has been developed for ATF. A real-time facility control is not normally required, but does maintain a near real-time ground monitoring capability for facility and science data stream on a full-time basis. Facility observational sequences are normally loaded once a week. In addition, the preliminary system is designed to be fail-safe and single-fault tolerant. Routine interactions by the Space Station crew with ATF will not be necessary, but onboard controls are provided for crew override as required for emergencies and maintenance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 September 1987
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 0810, Optical Systems for Space Applications, (18 September 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.941526
Show Author Affiliations
Kenji Nishioka, NASA Ames Research Centel (United States)
Jeffrey D. Scargle, NASA Ames Research Center (United States)
John J. Givens, NASA Ames Research Centel (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0810:
Optical Systems for Space Applications
Hanspeter Lutz; Georges Otrio, Editor(s)

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