This paper provides an overview of a feasible design architecture that satisfies the strict pointing requirements for the 2020 Astrophysics Decadal Survey Habitable Exoplanet Observatory (HabEx) Architecture A mission concept. Microthruster technology has matured significantly in recent years, with high specific impulse and low-level disturbance making microthrusters the prime candidate for high-precision pointing in upcoming space telescope missions. HabEx’s Architecture A concept utilizes microthrusters as the main actuators for the attitude control system pointing mode and a fine steering piezo-electric-operated mirror is utilized in the inner finepointing loop of the attitude control system. Sensing is undertaken using a high-resolution, low-noise focal-plane camera that can support high readout speeds (> 100 Hz), in addition to a state-of-the-art low-order wavefront sensor, which is currently under technology development for NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).
Milan Mandić, Oscar Alvarez-Salazar, and Alina A. Kiessling, "HabEx: A high-precision pointing architecture using microthrusters and a fine steering mirror," Proc. SPIE 10698, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 106980U (Presented at SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation: June 11, 2018; Published: 6 July 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2315545.
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