The function of a Lateral Transfer Retroreflector is to accurately shift a beam of light laterally, while changing its direction 180 degrees. It uses three optically-flat, reflective surfaces located in mutually perpendicular planes to return an output beam parallel, but laterally separated from the input beam. The device maintains parallelism of the two beams regardless of its own orientation. From mid-2011 to late 2015, two types of LTR were designed, developed, produced and tested at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland. Information about the development process, along with performance results is given.
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera will be launched in August 2005 onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft. HiRISE supports the MRO Mission objectives through targeted imaging of nadir and off-nadir sites with high resolution and high signal to noise ratio [a]. The camera employs a 50 cm, f/24 all-reflective optical system and a time delay and integration (TDI) detector assembly to map the surface of Mars from an orbital altitude of ~ 300 km. The ground resolution of HiRISE will be < 1 meter with a broadband red channel that can image a 6 x 12 km region of Mars into a 20K x 40K pixel image. HiRISE will image the surface of Mars at three different color bands from 0.4 to 1.0 micrometers. In this paper the HiRISE mission and its camera optical design will be presented. Alignment and assembly techniques and test results will show that the HiRISE telescope's on-orbit wave front requirement of < 0.071 wave RMS (@633nm) will be met . The HiRISE cross track field is 1.14 degrees with IFOV 1.0 μ-radians.
Large ground-based observatories and future space-based astronomical observatories will rely increasingly on optical systems containing active image maintenance. A near-term example of a space-based system that will rely on this technique for ensuring adequate imaging performance is the Next Generation Space Telescope. In this case, the need for a telescope aperture larger than anything supportable as a monolith within existing launch capabilities necessitates the need for a segmented deployable primary mirror. To collect the desired science, it is necessary to maintain the wavefront to about the 50 nanometer RMS level after deployment. In addition, it is necessary to isolate global telescope alignment errors from the segmented-induced wavefront errors and bring the telescope into a globally optimized alignment. Several techniques have been proposed for sensing the wavefront error in the resulting collected image, with the intent of adjusting the opto-mechanical system to reduce the errors to acceptable limits. In addition, a small set of image examinations have been simulated to determine global misalignments in deployed systems. BATC has developed a testbed to support evaluation of the various techniques for autonomously measuring and correcting wavefront errors and for isolating misalignments in large telescope systems. The testbed is designed to be modular, with separate subassemblies providing the segmented input wavefront, the control capability, and the imaging and sensing capabilities. It is also designed to be an evolving asset, providing several levels of testing enhancements over time and supporting the development of test facilities that will be integral to future observatory integration. This paper describes the initial and future top-level requirements, design parameters, and performance capabilities of the testbed.
Understanding segmented mirror operation is crucial to the development of future space-based optical systems such as the Next Generation Space Telescope. Several non-standard effects must be understood and experienced through simulation and experimentation, including segment-to-segment edge discontinuities, edge diffraction, and segment lateral displacement. Simulation provides an initial understanding of the imaging impacts of these effects, while experimentation supplies the necessary operational experience of measuring and correcting them. An integral assembly within the BATC Wavefront Control Testbed is a quadrant segmented spherical concave mirror that provides the input to the wavefront error sensing subassembly. The segments are individually mounted, with 4 degrees of freedom of automated commandable movement. This paper discusses the design requirements, components, operation, and performance of the mirror and mirror mount assembly.