Ground and Space-Based Telescopes

Design and validation of the mounting structure for BETTII balloon-based telescope with thin-walled optics

[+] Author Affiliations
Stephen Furst

North Carolina State University, Precision Engineering Consortium, 1001 Capability Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, United States

Smart Material Solutions, Inc., 4713 Altha Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, United States

Tom Dow, Ken Garrard

North Carolina State University, Precision Engineering Consortium, 1001 Capability Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, United States

Alex Sohn

Oculus Research, 8747 148th Avenue Northeast, Redmond, Washington 98052, United States

Dale Fixsen, Stephen Rinehart, Eric Mentzell, Todd Veach, Maxime Rizzo, Arnab Dhabal

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, United States

J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 2(2), 024001 (Jun 02, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.JATIS.2.2.024001
History: Received January 22, 2016; Accepted May 13, 2016
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Abstract.  The NASA Balloon Experimental Twin Telescope for Infrared Interferometry (BETTII) system is designed to study the infrared emissions from star formation and active galactic nuclei through a double-Fourier Michelson interferometer located on a balloon at an altitude of 37 km. The BETTII external optics include a pair of identical beam-reducing, four-mirror telescopes, each with a 522-mm aperture, nonrotationally symmetric primary mirror. These telescopes were designed and assembled at the North Carolina State University Precision Engineering Consortium and are composed entirely of thin-walled aluminum components. The mounting structure is designed to be light weight and stiff to reduce thermal equilibration time in the rarified air at the edge of space and to maintain robust alignment of the optical elements. The mounts also prevent deformation of the large optical elements via custom-built kinematic Kelvin couplings and fixed-load clamps; the maximum form error of the optical surfaces are 300 nm RMS. This work details the design of the thin mirrors and mounting structure as well as validation of the mount assembly process, mount stiffness, and the kinematic couplings.

© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Stephen Furst ; Tom Dow ; Ken Garrard ; Alex Sohn ; Dale Fixsen, et al.
"Design and validation of the mounting structure for BETTII balloon-based telescope with thin-walled optics", J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 2(2), 024001 (Jun 02, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JATIS.2.2.024001


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