Special Section on a Future Large-Aperture Ultraviolet/Optical/Infrared Space Observatory

Innovative telescope architectures for future large space observatories

[+] Author Affiliations
Ronald S. Polidan

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, One Space Park Drive, Redondo Beach, California 90278, United States

Polidan Science Systems and Technologies, LLC, 888 Southwest Evergreen Avenue, Redmond, Oregon 97756, United States

James B. Breckinridge

Breckinridge Associates, LLC, 985 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, California 91106, United States

Charles F. Lillie

Lillie Consulting LLC, 6202 Vista del Mar, Playa del Rey, California 90293, United States

Howard A. MacEwen

Reviresco LLC, 4901 Loosestrife Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003, United States

Martin R. Flannery, Dean R. Dailey

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, One Space Park Drive, Redondo Beach, California 90278, United States

J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 2(4), 041211 (Aug 17, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.JATIS.2.4.041211
History: Received February 3, 2016; Accepted July 22, 2016
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Abstract.  Over the past few years, we have developed a concept for an evolvable space telescope (EST) that is assembled on orbit in three stages, growing from a 4×12-m telescope in Stage 1, to a 12-m filled aperture in Stage 2, and then to a 20-m filled aperture in Stage 3. Stage 1 is launched as a fully functional telescope and begins gathering science data immediately after checkout on orbit. This observatory is then periodically augmented in space with additional mirror segments, structures, and newer instruments to evolve the telescope over the years to a 20-m space telescope. We discuss the EST architecture, the motivation for this approach, and the benefits it provides over current approaches to building and maintaining large space observatories.

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© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Ronald S. Polidan ; James B. Breckinridge ; Charles F. Lillie ; Howard A. MacEwen ; Martin R. Flannery, et al.
"Innovative telescope architectures for future large space observatories", J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 2(4), 041211 (Aug 17, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JATIS.2.4.041211


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