From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2017
An external occulter for starlight suppression – a starshade – flying in formation with the Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission Concept (HabEx) space telescope could enable the direct imaging and spectrographic characterization of Earthlike exoplanets in the habitable zone. This starshade is flown between the telescope and the star, and suppresses stellar light sufficiently to allow the imaging of the faint reflected light of the planet. This paper presents a mechanical architecture for this occulter, which must stow in a 5 m-diameter launch fairing and then deploy to about a 80 m-diameter structure. The optical performance of the starshade requires that the edge profile is accurate and stable. The stowage and deployment of the starshade to meet these requirements present unique challenges that are addressed in this proposed architecture. The mechanical architecture consists of a number of petals attached to a deployable perimeter truss, which is connected to central hub using tensioned spokes. The petals are furled around the stowed perimeter truss for launch. Herein is described a mechanical design solution that supports an 80 m-class starshade for flight as part of HabEx.
Manan Arya, David Webb, James McGown, P. Douglas Lisman, Stuart Shaklan, S. Case Bradford, John Steeves, Evan Hilgemann, Brian Trease, Mark Thomson, Steve Warwick, Gregg Freebury, and Jamie Gull, "Starshade mechanical design for the Habitable Exoplanet imaging mission concept (HabEx)," Proc. SPIE 10400, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII, 104001C (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 10, 2017; Published: 12 September 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2275086.
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