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2 October 2000 Optical design of giant telescopes for space
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Increased performance for optical telescopes has historically come from larger apertures, from technological advances for the telescope components, such as detectors, and from access to better sites, such as space. Little has changed in the basic telescope design for a century. These conventional designs have served us well and will continue to do so with the Next Generation Space Telescope. There is an upper limit to the size of thsi type of telescope, set by the capacity to launch the required mass. For future space telescopes of 50, 100, 500 meter apertures, we have developed a new type of optical design. We use a primary reflector made from segments of flat and near-flat membranes. The secondary reflector and subsequent optics are supported in separate spacecraft, flying in formation with the primary reflector. In addition, each spacecraft maintains sunshields to keep the optics shaded from the sun. This paper explores the optical design issues for this type of giant space telescope.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
James H. Burge, Erin M. Sabatke, James Roger P. Angel, and Neville J. Woolf "Optical design of giant telescopes for space", Proc. SPIE 4092, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization III, (2 October 2000);


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