22 October 2004 Design and optimization of aberration and error invariant space telescope systems
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Abstract
Telescope performance is often limited by aberrations, and/or fabrication and alignment errors. Additionally, image formation in large space-based systems is sensitive to changes in physical form parameters such as temperature-related deformations, mirror structure, piston position and detector alignment. Changes in these parameters significantly degrade image quality and often limit the performance of the system. A fundamental new technology called Wavefront Coding has been successfully demonstrated via simulations for large space-based imaging systems that promise to surpass the performance attained by traditional optical designs. Wavefront Coding uses specialized aspheric optics and signal processing of the detected image to correct defocus-like aberrations thereby enabling a new paradigm in aberration balancing for telescope systems. Wavefront Coding can provide dramatic new mission capabilities by allowing space-based imaging systems that are simpler, lighter, and cheaper, while also providing high quality imagery in dynamic environments that are difficult or impossible to image in with traditional imaging systems. As an example two systems are presented that allow the telescope to repoint the boresight through the actuation of the primary segments or through the use of a scan mirror. Traditional systems with the same goal of repointing the boresight historically have not been feasible due to either the increased error space or due to constraints on system cost and complexity.
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Kenneth S. Kubala, Edward Dowski, James Kobus, Robert Brown, "Design and optimization of aberration and error invariant space telescope systems", Proc. SPIE 5524, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization VII, (22 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.560305; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.560305
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