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20 July 2000 Wide-field off-axis new planetary telescope: science and design, new opportunities
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Astronomical research requiring high photometric dynamic range is restricted by all current telescopes. Fundamental diffraction limitations and practical difficulties associated with conventional `centered' telescope optics and their mounts leads to unavoidable light scatter which can be the limiting noise source in observations of faint or diffuse objects in the presence of much brighter contaminating sources. We describe here an off-axis design for a 6.5 m astronomical telescope optimized for low scattered light and low emissivity. This is part of a new concept for a facility which we call the New Planetary Telescope (NPT). We shown how its geometrical optical performance can equal that of an on-axis conventional telescope while the diffractive performance fundamentally surpasses conventional telescopes because of the absence of pupil obstruction. The decentered NPT concept also allows wide-field and versatile instrumentation configurations that are not possible with more conventional designs.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jeff R. Kuhn and Gilberto Moretto "Wide-field off-axis new planetary telescope: science and design, new opportunities", Proc. SPIE 4003, Optical Design, Materials, Fabrication, and Maintenance, (20 July 2000);


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