5 September 2017 Active optics for next generation space telescopes
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Abstract
High resolution observation systems need bigger and bigger telescopes. The design of such telescopes is a key issue for the whole satellite. In order to improve the imaging resolution with minimum impact on the satellite, a big effort must be made to improve the telescope compactness. Compactness is also important for the agility of the satellite and for the size and cost of the launcher. This paper shows how compact a high resolution telescope can be. A diffraction limited telescope can be less than ten times shorter than its focal length. But the compactness impacts drastically the opto-mechanical sensitivity and the optical performances. Typically, a gain of a factor of 2 leads to a mechanical tolerance budget 6 times more difficult. The need to implement active optics for positioning requirements raises very quickly. Moreover, the capability to compensate shape defaults of the primary mirror is the way to simplify the mirror manufacture, to mitigate the development risks and to minimize the cost. The larger the primary mirror is, the more interesting it is to implement active optics for shape compensations. CNES is preparing next generation of earth observation satellite in the frame of OTOS (Observation de la Terre Optique Super-Résolue; High resolution earth observing optical system). OTOS is a technology program. In particular, optical technological developments and breadboards dedicated to active optics are on-going. The aim is to achieve TRL 5 to TRL6 for these new technologies and to validate the global performances of such an active telescope.
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V. Costes, V. Costes, L. Perret, L. Perret, D. Laubier, D. Laubier, J. M. Delvit, J. M. Delvit, C. Imbert, C. Imbert, L. Cadiergues, L. Cadiergues, C. Faure, C. Faure, } "Active optics for next generation space telescopes", Proc. SPIE 10398, UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts VIII, 103980S (5 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2274791; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2274791
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