18 December 2002 Eyeglass: a very large aperture diffractive space telescope
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Eyeglass is a very large aperture (25 - 100 meter) space telescope consisting of two distinct spacecraft, separated in space by several kilometers. A diffractive lens provides the telescope's large aperture, and a separate, much smaller, space telescope serves as its mobile eyepiece. Use of a transmissive diffractive lens solves two basic problems associated with very large aperture space telescopes; it is inherently fieldable (lightweight and flat, hence packagable and deployable) and virtually eliminates the traditional, very tight, surface shape tolerances faced by reflecting apertures. The potential drawback to use of a diffractive primary (very narrow spectral bandwidth) is eliminated by corrective optics in the telescope's eyepiece. The Eyeglass can provide diffraction-limited imaging with either single-band, multiband, or continuous spectral coverage. Broadband diffractive telescopes have been built at LLNL and have demonstrated diffraction-limited performance over a 40% spectral bandwidth (0.48 - 0.72 μm). As one approach to package a large aperture for launch, a foldable lens has been built and demonstrated. A 75 cm aperture diffractive lens was constructed from 6 panels of 1 mm thick silica; it achieved diffraction-limited performance both before and after folding. This multiple panel, folding lens, approach is currently being scaled-up at LLNL. We are building a 5 meter aperture foldable lens, involving 72 panels of 700 μm thick glass sheets, diffractively patterned to operate as coherent f/50 lens.
© (2002) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Roderick A. Hyde, Roderick A. Hyde, Shamasundar N. Dixit, Shamasundar N. Dixit, Andrew H. Weisberg, Andrew H. Weisberg, Michael C. Rushford, Michael C. Rushford, } "Eyeglass: a very large aperture diffractive space telescope", Proc. SPIE 4849, Highly Innovative Space Telescope Concepts, (18 December 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.460420; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.460420


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