We report on the early phases of a NASA-sponsored study of CETUS (Cosmic Evolution Through Ultraviolet Spectroscopy), a Probe-class mission concept. By definition, the full lifecycle cost of a Probe mission is greater than $400M (i.e. Explorer missions) and less than $1.00B (“Flagship” missions). The animating idea behind our study is that CETUS can help answer fundamental questions about galaxy evolution by carrying out a massive UV imaging and spectroscopic survey of galaxies and combining its findings with data obtained by other survey telescopes of the 2020’s. The CETUS mission concept comprises a 1.5-m wide-field telescope and three scientific instruments: a near-UV multi-object slit spectrograph with a micro-shutter array as the slit device; a near-UV and far-UV camera with angular resolution of 0.42” (near-UV) or 0.55” (far-UV); and a near-UV or far-UV single-object spectrograph aimed at providing access to the UV after Hubble is gone. We describe the scientific rationale for CETUS and the telescope and instruments in their early design phase.
The Herschel Space Observatory (formerly known as FIRST) consists of a 3.5 m space telescope. As part of a JPL- funded effort to develop lightweight telescope technology suitable for this mission, COI designed and fabricated a spherical, F/1, 2 m aperture prototype primary mirror using solely carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) materials. To assess the performance of this technology, optical metrology of the mirror surface was performed from ambient to an intended operational temperature for IR-telescopes of 70K. Testing was performed horizontally in a cryogenic vacuum chamber at Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), Tennessee. The test incorporated a custom thermal shroud, a characterization and monitoring of the dynamic environment, and a stress free mirror mount. An IR-wavelength phase shifting interferometer (IR PSI) was the primary instrument used to measure the mirror surface. From an initial surface figure of 2.1 microns RMS at ambient, a modest 3.9 microns of additional RMS surface error was induced at 70K. The thermally induced error was dominated by low-order deformations, of the type that could easily be corrected with secondary or tertiary optics. In addition to exceptional thermal stability, the mirror exhibited no significant change in the figure upon returning to room temperature.
This paper presents a status of the development of the 1.6 meter hybrid mirror demonstrator for the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) Program. The COI design approach for the NGST program combines the optical performance of glass, with the high specific stiffness capabilities of composite materials.
Composite materials are an ideal choice for the FIRST Telescope, since they provide dimensional stability, excellent stiffness to weight ratios, near zero thermal expansion, and manufacturing flexibility. The most challenging aspect of producing an all-composite FIRST telescope, is the development of the lightweight primary mirror. The design of the primary mirror must satisfy requirements for surface accuracy to operating temperatures of 80 +/- K as well as stiffness and strength considerations during launch.
The Far Infrared and Submillimeter Telescope (FIRST), is an ESA cornerstone mission, that will be used for photometry, imaging and spectroscopy in the 80 to 670 micrometer range. NASA, through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), will be contributing the telescope and its design to ESA. This paper will discuss the work being done by JPL and Composite Optics, Incorporated (COI), the developer of the primary mirror technology. Optical and mechanical constraints for the telescope have been defined by ESA and evolved from their trade studies. Design drivers are wave front error (10 micrometer rms with a goal of 6 micrometer rms), mass (260 kg), primary mirror diameter (3.5 m) and f number (f/0.5), and the operational temperature (less than 90 K). In response to these requirements a low mass, low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) telescope has been designed using carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP). This paper will first present background on the JPL/COI CFRP mirror development efforts. After selection of the material, the next two steps, that are being done in parallel, are to demonstrate that a large CFRP mirror could meet the requirements and to detail the optical, thermal and mechanical design of the telescope.
The objective of this paper is to report the recent developments in lightweight mirror technology at Composite Optics, Incorporated (COI). The developments are a result of the activities being conducted in support of the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) Program. The sponsors of these efforts are the NASA Marshall and Goddard Space Flight Centers. The requirements, design approach, technical challenges, hardware status, and tentative conclusions for the program are summarized. The emergence of composite materials provides exciting potential for nontraditional, accurate, lightweight, stable, stiff, and high strength mirrors. This evolving technology promises significant improvement in reducing weight, cost and cycle time for future infrared, visible, and x-ray systems. Customers currently embracing composite mirror technology for radiometric use are already reaping substantial system performance benefits. Other customers interested in LIDAR, IR, visible, and grazing incidence x-ray applications are eagerly awaiting successful completion of current technology development and demonstration efforts. 1
The objective of this paper is to report the recent developments in lightweight mirror technology at Composite Optics, Incorporated. The developments are a result of the activities being conducted in support of the Next Generation Space Telescope Program. The sponsors of these efforts are the NASA Marshall and Goddard Space Flight Centers. The requirements, design approach, performance, and the technology status for the program are summarized.
The Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer is a state of the art instrument which will be flown aboard the ESA SOHO spacecraft in 1995. A major objective of the SOHO is to investigate the solar corona and the solar wind by measuring parameters of the plasma, both in the source and acceleration regions, and in interplanetary space. The UVCS will provide ultraviolet spectroscopic diagnostics of temperature, density, and outflow velocity for coronal ions located between the base of the solar corona and 10 solar radii. The requirements placed on the UVCS telescope structure by the science and the spacecraft are challenging. Obtaining this scientific data requires that the telescope maintain pointing stability within a few arc-seconds in a transient thermal environment and an imaging stability within a few microns. Strict mass allowances permit only 22 kg for the 2.5 meter long telescope structure out of a total instrument allotment of 124 kg. The instrument is required to have a high minimum natural frequency of 70 Hertz and withstand launch inertia loads in excess of 18-G's while kinematically supported.