From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2017
Previous papers have described our concept for a large telescope that would be assembled in space in several stages (in different configurations) over a period of fifteen to 20 years. Spreading the telescope development, launch and operations cost over 20 years would minimize the impact on NASA’s annual budget and drastically shorten the time between program start and “first light” for this space observatory. The first Stage of this Evolvable Space Telescope (EST) would consist of an instrument module located at the prime focus of three 4-meter hexagonal mirrors arranged in a semi-circle to form one-half of a 12-m segmented mirror. After several years three additional 4-m mirrors would be added to create a 12-m filled aperture. Later, twelve more 4-m mirrors will be added to this Stage 2 telescope to create a 20-m filled aperture space telescope. At each stage the telescope would have an unparalleled capability for UVOIR observations, and the results of these observations will guide the evolution of the telescope and its instruments. In this paper we describe our design concept for an initial configuration of our Evolvable Space Telescope that can meet the requirements of the 4-m version of the HabEx spacecraft currently under consideration by NASA’s Habitable Exoplanet Science and Technology Definition Team. This “Stage Zero” configuration will have only one 4-m mirror segment with the same 30-m focal length and a prime focus coronagraph with normal incidence optics to minimize polarization effects. After assembly and checkout in cis-lunar space, the telescope would transfer to a Sun-Earth L2 halo orbit and obtain high sensitivity, high resolution, high contrast UVOIR observations that address the scientific objectives of the Habitable-Exoplanet Imaging Missions.
Charles F. Lillie, Howard A. MacEwen, Ronald S. Polidan, and James B. Breckinridge, "A 4-m evolvable space telescope configured for NASA's HabEx Mission: the initial stage of LUVOIR," Proc. SPIE 10398, UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts VIII, 103980R (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 07, 2017; Published: 5 September 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2274623.
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