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14 September 2011 A low cost, high performance, 1.2m off-axis telescope built with NG-Xinetics silicon carbide
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The search for extrasolar habitable planets is one of three major astrophysics priorities identified for the next decade. These missions demand very high performance visible-wavelength optical imaging systems. Such high performance space telescopes are typically extremely expensive and can be difficult for government agencies to afford in today's economic climate, and most lower cost systems offer little benefit because they fall short on at least one of the following three key performance parameters: imaging wavelength, total system-level wavefront error and aperture diameter. Northrop Grumman Xinetics has developed a simple, lightweight, low-cost telescope design that will address the near-term science objectives of this astrophysics theme with the required optical performance, while reducing the telescope cost by an order of magnitude. Breakthroughs in SiC mirror manufacturing, integrated wavefront sensing, and high TRL deformable mirror technology have finally been combined within the same organization to offer a complete end-to-end telescope system in the lower end of the Class D cost range. This paper presents the latest results of real OAP polishing and metrology data, an optimized optical design, and finite element derived WFE
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Justin J. Rey, John A. Wellman, Richard G. Egan, and Richard J. Wollensak "A low cost, high performance, 1.2m off-axis telescope built with NG-Xinetics silicon carbide", Proc. SPIE 8146, UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts V, 81460N (14 September 2011);


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