Last results of technological developments for ultra-lightweight, large aperture, deployable mirror for space telescopes

Year: 2017

Authors: Gambicorti L., D’Amato F., Vettore C., Duò F., Guercia A., Patauner C., Biasi R., Srl M., Lisi F., Riccardi A., Gallieni D., Lazzarini P., Tintori M., Zuccaro Marchi A., Pereira Do Carmo J.

Autors Affiliation: National Institute of Optics (CNR-INO), L. go E. Fermi, 6, Firenze, 50125, Italy; Compagnia Generale dello Spazio (CGS), Via Gallarate, 15, Milano, 20151, Italy; Via Stradivari 4, Bolzano, Italy; INAF-Arcetri Astrophysics Observatory, L. go E. Fermi, 5, Firenze, 50125, Italy; ADS International, Via Roma, 87, Valmadrera (LC), 23868, Italy; ESA, ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, Noordwijk, 2200 AG, Netherlands

Abstract: The aim of this work is to describe the latest results of new technological concepts for Large Aperture Telescopes Technology (LATT) using thin deployable lightweight active mirrors. This technology is developed under the European Space Agency (ESA) Technology Research Program and can be exploited in all the applications based on the use of primary mirrors of space telescopes with large aperture, segmented lightweight telescopes with wide Field of View (FOV) and low f/#, and LIDAR telescopes. The reference mission application is a potential future ESA mission, related to a space borne DIAL (Differential Absorption Lidar) instrument operating around 935.5 nm with the goal to measure water vapor profiles in atmosphere. An Optical BreadBoard (OBB) for LATT has been designed for investigating and testing two critical aspects of the technology: 1) control accuracy in the mirror surface shaping. 2) mirror survivability to launch. The aim is to evaluate the effective performances of the long stroke smart-actuators used for the mirror control and to demonstrate the effectiveness and the reliability of the electrostatic locking (EL) system to restraint the thin shell on the mirror backup structure during launch. The paper presents a comprehensive vision of the breadboard focusing on how the requirements have driven the design of the whole system and of the various subsystems. The manufacturing process of the thin shell is also presented.

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KeyWords: Application programs; Electrostatic actuators; Locks (fasteners); Mirrors; Optical radar; Space telescopes; Water absorption, Active Optics; Differential absorption lidars; Effective performance; European Space Agency; Large aperture telescopes; Lightweight mirrors; Lightweight telescope; Technological development, Optical testing