28 August 2014 FalconSAT-7: a membrane space telescope
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Abstract
The USAF Academy Department of Physics has built FalconSAT-7, a membrane solar telescope to be deployed from a 3U CubeSat in LEO. The primary optic is a 0.2m photon sieve - a diffractive element consisting of billions of tiny circular dimples etched into a Kapton sheet. The membrane, its support structure, secondary optics, two imaging cameras and associated control/recording electronics are all packaged within half the CubeSat volume. Once in space, the supporting pantograph structure is deployed, extending out and pulling the membrane flat under tension. The telescope will then be directed at the Sun to gather images at H-alpha for transmission to the ground. Due for launch in 2015, FalconSAT-7 will serve as a pathfinder for future surveillance missions consisting of a 0.3m aperture deployed from a 12U satellite. Such a telescope would be capable of providing sub-meter resolution of ground-based objects.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Geoff P. Andersen, Geoff P. Andersen, Olha Asmolova, Olha Asmolova, } "FalconSAT-7: a membrane space telescope", Proc. SPIE 9143, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 91431X (28 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2054441; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2054441
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