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1 November 1990 Mission optimization of the Space Infrared Telescope Facility
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Abstract
The Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) will be the last of NASA's great observatories and uses a 1 meter cryogenically cooled telescope to allow three focal plane instruments to make background limited measurements in the wavelength range 2- 700 microns over the entire celestial sphere for at least 5 years. The idea for the SIRTF mission was developed in the early 1970's and has been studied intensely since the success of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) mission in 1983. From 1980- 1987 SIRTF was constrained to a near earth orbit since the only available launch vehicle was the Shuttle. With the decision to go to a mixed fleet in 1987, the SIRTF Project Office at the Ames Research Center began an intensive investigation of mission options. A new mission design using a circular 100,000 km orbit was developed and culminated in a decision by NASA HQ to change the mission baseline to this new design in March of 1989. The new mission utilizes a Titan IY/Centaur and is launched from the ETh. The design meets all the Level I science performance requirements established by HQ and the SIRTF Science Working Group. The design is an elegant solution to a difficult problem and results in a significant reduction in observatory mass, elimination of the need for on-orbit servicing, a factor of two higher on target efficiency and better long wavelength performance.
© (1990) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Walter F. Brooks, Lawrence A. Manning, Jeffrey M. Lee, Ramsey K. Melugin, George L. Sarver III, and Robert P. Hanel "Mission optimization of the Space Infrared Telescope Facility", Proc. SPIE 1340, Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments IV, (1 November 1990); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.23031
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