Stretched membrane with electrostatic curvature (SMEC): A new technology for ultra-lightweight space telescopes

J Roger P Angel, James H Burge, Keith Hege, Matthew Kenworthy, Neville Woolf

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

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Very large space telescopes with primary mirrors made of flat segments have been recently proposed. The segments would be extremely lightweight, made like pellicles from stretched, reflective membranes. Here we consider the use of such membrane primary mirrors in which slight concave curvature is induced by electrostatic force, by application of a potential difference between the membrane and a control electrode behind. In this way segmented spherical or paraboloidal primaries of long focal length can be made directly, eliminating the correction optics needed when flat segments are used. The electric potential would be spatially and temporally controlled to obtain uniform curvature despite non-uniformity in membrane tension, to create slight asphericity if needed and to provide active damping of vibrations. We report the operation of a small prototype telescope with a SMEC primary. A design for a 3.2-m space prototype is described, based on the two-mirror anastigmat of Schwartzschild and Couder. A 400 m radius primary is combined with a single concave secondary flying in formation at a distance of 190 m. Together they form a wide-field, well-corrected focus at f/30. A larger telescope with much higher diffraction limited resolution could be made simply by adding more segments of the 27 m diameter parent primary to the formation. The TPF nulling interferomer could be made with similarly sized elements in a 100 m formation, configured as segments of a kilometer focal length parent. A very large SMEC telescope might be made from a continuous 10×1000 m membrane, rolled up for launch. Cryogenic cooling for all these configurations would be accomplished by additional spacecraft in the formation to block direct solar illumination of the telescope elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
PublisherSociety of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Pages699-705
Number of pages7
Volume4013
StatePublished - 2000
EventUV, Optical, and IR Space Telescopes and Instruments - Munich, Ger
Duration: Mar 29 2000Mar 31 2000

Other

OtherUV, Optical, and IR Space Telescopes and Instruments
CityMunich, Ger
Period3/29/003/31/00

Fingerprint

Space telescopes
Electrostatics
curvature
telescopes
electrostatics
membranes
Membranes
Telescopes
mirrors
prototypes
cryogenic cooling
pellicle
asphericity
formation flying
Electrostatic force
Hubble Space Telescope
nonuniformity
Cryogenics
Vibrations (mechanical)
Spacecraft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Angel, J. R. P., Burge, J. H., Hege, K., Kenworthy, M., & Woolf, N. (2000). Stretched membrane with electrostatic curvature (SMEC): A new technology for ultra-lightweight space telescopes. In Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 4013, pp. 699-705). Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.

Stretched membrane with electrostatic curvature (SMEC) : A new technology for ultra-lightweight space telescopes. / Angel, J Roger P; Burge, James H; Hege, Keith; Kenworthy, Matthew; Woolf, Neville.

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. Vol. 4013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, 2000. p. 699-705.

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

Angel, JRP, Burge, JH, Hege, K, Kenworthy, M & Woolf, N 2000, Stretched membrane with electrostatic curvature (SMEC): A new technology for ultra-lightweight space telescopes. in Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. vol. 4013, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, pp. 699-705, UV, Optical, and IR Space Telescopes and Instruments, Munich, Ger, 3/29/00.
Angel JRP, Burge JH, Hege K, Kenworthy M, Woolf N. Stretched membrane with electrostatic curvature (SMEC): A new technology for ultra-lightweight space telescopes. In Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. Vol. 4013. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. 2000. p. 699-705
Angel, J Roger P ; Burge, James H ; Hege, Keith ; Kenworthy, Matthew ; Woolf, Neville. / Stretched membrane with electrostatic curvature (SMEC) : A new technology for ultra-lightweight space telescopes. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. Vol. 4013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, 2000. pp. 699-705
@inproceedings{b864d994360444828fa7fe6f20cbdbca,
title = "Stretched membrane with electrostatic curvature (SMEC): A new technology for ultra-lightweight space telescopes",
abstract = "Very large space telescopes with primary mirrors made of flat segments have been recently proposed. The segments would be extremely lightweight, made like pellicles from stretched, reflective membranes. Here we consider the use of such membrane primary mirrors in which slight concave curvature is induced by electrostatic force, by application of a potential difference between the membrane and a control electrode behind. In this way segmented spherical or paraboloidal primaries of long focal length can be made directly, eliminating the correction optics needed when flat segments are used. The electric potential would be spatially and temporally controlled to obtain uniform curvature despite non-uniformity in membrane tension, to create slight asphericity if needed and to provide active damping of vibrations. We report the operation of a small prototype telescope with a SMEC primary. A design for a 3.2-m space prototype is described, based on the two-mirror anastigmat of Schwartzschild and Couder. A 400 m radius primary is combined with a single concave secondary flying in formation at a distance of 190 m. Together they form a wide-field, well-corrected focus at f/30. A larger telescope with much higher diffraction limited resolution could be made simply by adding more segments of the 27 m diameter parent primary to the formation. The TPF nulling interferomer could be made with similarly sized elements in a 100 m formation, configured as segments of a kilometer focal length parent. A very large SMEC telescope might be made from a continuous 10×1000 m membrane, rolled up for launch. Cryogenic cooling for all these configurations would be accomplished by additional spacecraft in the formation to block direct solar illumination of the telescope elements.",
author = "Angel, {J Roger P} and Burge, {James H} and Keith Hege and Matthew Kenworthy and Neville Woolf",
year = "2000",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "4013",
pages = "699--705",
booktitle = "Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering",
publisher = "Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers",

}

TY - GEN

T1 - Stretched membrane with electrostatic curvature (SMEC)

T2 - A new technology for ultra-lightweight space telescopes

AU - Angel, J Roger P

AU - Burge, James H

AU - Hege, Keith

AU - Kenworthy, Matthew

AU - Woolf, Neville

PY - 2000

Y1 - 2000

N2 - Very large space telescopes with primary mirrors made of flat segments have been recently proposed. The segments would be extremely lightweight, made like pellicles from stretched, reflective membranes. Here we consider the use of such membrane primary mirrors in which slight concave curvature is induced by electrostatic force, by application of a potential difference between the membrane and a control electrode behind. In this way segmented spherical or paraboloidal primaries of long focal length can be made directly, eliminating the correction optics needed when flat segments are used. The electric potential would be spatially and temporally controlled to obtain uniform curvature despite non-uniformity in membrane tension, to create slight asphericity if needed and to provide active damping of vibrations. We report the operation of a small prototype telescope with a SMEC primary. A design for a 3.2-m space prototype is described, based on the two-mirror anastigmat of Schwartzschild and Couder. A 400 m radius primary is combined with a single concave secondary flying in formation at a distance of 190 m. Together they form a wide-field, well-corrected focus at f/30. A larger telescope with much higher diffraction limited resolution could be made simply by adding more segments of the 27 m diameter parent primary to the formation. The TPF nulling interferomer could be made with similarly sized elements in a 100 m formation, configured as segments of a kilometer focal length parent. A very large SMEC telescope might be made from a continuous 10×1000 m membrane, rolled up for launch. Cryogenic cooling for all these configurations would be accomplished by additional spacecraft in the formation to block direct solar illumination of the telescope elements.

AB - Very large space telescopes with primary mirrors made of flat segments have been recently proposed. The segments would be extremely lightweight, made like pellicles from stretched, reflective membranes. Here we consider the use of such membrane primary mirrors in which slight concave curvature is induced by electrostatic force, by application of a potential difference between the membrane and a control electrode behind. In this way segmented spherical or paraboloidal primaries of long focal length can be made directly, eliminating the correction optics needed when flat segments are used. The electric potential would be spatially and temporally controlled to obtain uniform curvature despite non-uniformity in membrane tension, to create slight asphericity if needed and to provide active damping of vibrations. We report the operation of a small prototype telescope with a SMEC primary. A design for a 3.2-m space prototype is described, based on the two-mirror anastigmat of Schwartzschild and Couder. A 400 m radius primary is combined with a single concave secondary flying in formation at a distance of 190 m. Together they form a wide-field, well-corrected focus at f/30. A larger telescope with much higher diffraction limited resolution could be made simply by adding more segments of the 27 m diameter parent primary to the formation. The TPF nulling interferomer could be made with similarly sized elements in a 100 m formation, configured as segments of a kilometer focal length parent. A very large SMEC telescope might be made from a continuous 10×1000 m membrane, rolled up for launch. Cryogenic cooling for all these configurations would be accomplished by additional spacecraft in the formation to block direct solar illumination of the telescope elements.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0033715212&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0033715212&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Conference contribution

AN - SCOPUS:0033715212

VL - 4013

SP - 699

EP - 705

BT - Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

PB - Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

ER -