Nautilus Observatory: A space telescope array based on very large aperture ultralight diffractive optical elements

Dániel Apai, Tom D. Milster, Dae Wook Kim, Alex Bixel, Glenn Schneider, Benjamin V. Rackham, Rongguang Liang, Jonathan Arenberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe a novel space observatory concept that is enabled by very large (8.5m-diameter), ultralight-weight multi-order diffractive lenses that can be cost-effectively replicated. The observatory utilizes an array of identical telescopes with a total combined light collecting area equivalent to that of a 50m-diameter telescope. Here we review the capabilities of a Nautilus unit telescope, the observatory concept, and the technology readiness of the key components. The Nautilus Observatory is capable of surveying a thousand transiting exo-earth candidates to 300 pc for biosignatures, enabling a rigorous statistical exploration of potentially life-bearing planets and the diversity of exo-earths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstronomical Optics
Subtitle of host publicationDesign, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems II
EditorsTony B. Hull, Dae Wook Kim, Pascal Hallibert
PublisherSPIE
ISBN (Electronic)9781510629257
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
EventAstronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems II 2019 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 12 2019Aug 15 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume11116
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Conference

ConferenceAstronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems II 2019
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period8/12/198/15/19

Keywords

  • Atmospheric Biosignatures
  • Diffractive Optics
  • Extrasolar Planets
  • MODE Lens
  • Nautilus Space Observatory
  • Space Telescope Array
  • Space Telescopes
  • Ultralight Telescopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Apai, D., Milster, T. D., Kim, D. W., Bixel, A., Schneider, G., Rackham, B. V., Liang, R., & Arenberg, J. (2019). Nautilus Observatory: A space telescope array based on very large aperture ultralight diffractive optical elements. In T. B. Hull, D. W. Kim, & P. Hallibert (Eds.), Astronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems II [1111608] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 11116). SPIE. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2529428