13 September 2012 Silicon carbide optics for space and ground based astronomical telescopes
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Abstract
Silicon Carbide (SiC) optical materials are being applied widely for both space based and ground based optical telescopes. The material provides a superior weight to stiffness ratio, which is an important metric for the design and fabrication of lightweight space telescopes. The material also has superior thermal properties with a low coefficient of thermal expansion, and a high thermal conductivity. The thermal properties advantages are important for both space based and ground based systems, which typically need to operate under stressing thermal conditions. The paper will review L-3 Integrated Optical Systems – SSG’s (L-3 SSG) work in developing SiC optics and SiC optical systems for astronomical observing systems. L-3 SSG has been fielding SiC optical components and systems for over 25 years. Space systems described will emphasize the recently launched Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) developed for JHU-APL and NASA-GSFC. Review of ground based applications of SiC will include supporting L-3 IOS-Brashear’s current contract to provide the 0.65 meter diameter, aspheric SiC secondary mirror for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST).
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Joseph Robichaud, Deepak Sampath, Chris Wainer, Jay Schwartz, Craig Peton, Steve Mix, Court Heller, "Silicon carbide optics for space and ground based astronomical telescopes", Proc. SPIE 8450, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 845002 (13 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926831; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.926831
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