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23 October 1995 Ultralightweight silicon carbide infrared cryogenic telescope
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A wide range of next generation spaceborne strategic and measurement/science applications require very lightweight, low cost, reflective telescopes with wide wavelength coverage, capable of near diffraction limited image quality over wide temperature ranges to cryogenic operation. A silicon carbide (SiC) telescope is an extremely attractive technology which offers (1) the lightweight and stiffness features of beryllium, (2) the optical performance of glass to visible quality, (3) superior optical/thermal stability to cryogenic temperatures, and (4) the low cost, fast fabrication processes of aluminum. This paper describes an ultralightweight (less than 1.5 kg), 18 cm aperture, 4 mirror off axis re-imaging infrared SiC telescope assembly designed in a 'flight-worthy' configuration. The overall design approach is described including comparison of telescope structural analysis to vibration test data. The telescope optical performance has been measured from 300 degrees Kelvin to less than 100 degrees Kelvin, including repeated thermal cycles; the rms wavefront change over this temperature range at 10.6 micrometer is less than 0.02 waves with no observed hysteresis, which demonstrates SiC technology to satisfy near diffraction limited infrared capability at cryogenic temperatures.
© (1995) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Michael I. Anapol, Richard Philippon, Theodore W. Tucker, Dean Kraft, and Jeff Bond "Ultralightweight silicon carbide infrared cryogenic telescope", Proc. SPIE 2543, Silicon Carbide Materials for Optics and Precision Structures, (23 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.225293;

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