Translator Disclaimer
28 July 2000 Stretched membrane with electrostatic curvature (SMEC): a new technology for ultralightweight space telescopes
Author Affiliations +
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 SEMC primary.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
James Roger P. Angel, James H. Burge, E. Keith Hege, Matthew A. Kenworthy, and Neville J. Woolf "Stretched membrane with electrostatic curvature (SMEC): a new technology for ultralightweight space telescopes", Proc. SPIE 4013, UV, Optical, and IR Space Telescopes and Instruments, (28 July 2000);


Status of the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory
Proceedings of SPIE (September 21 2012)
Optimizing cryogen utilization on Spitzer Space Telescope
Proceedings of SPIE (October 12 2004)
Results of the ESA internal assessment study of the European...
Proceedings of SPIE (September 03 2008)
Cooling large space telescopes to 4 kelvin
Proceedings of SPIE (August 18 2005)
SIRTF prototype telescope
Proceedings of SPIE (October 29 1999)

Back to Top