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3 July 2000 Architecture of the FIRST telescope
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The Far Infrared and Submillimeter Telescope (FIRST), is an ESA cornerstone mission, that will be used for photometry, imaging and spectroscopy in the 80 to 670 micrometer range. NASA, through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), will be contributing the telescope and its design to ESA. This paper will discuss the work being done by JPL and Composite Optics, Incorporated (COI), the developer of the primary mirror technology. Optical and mechanical constraints for the telescope have been defined by ESA and evolved from their trade studies. Design drivers are wave front error (10 micrometer rms with a goal of 6 micrometer rms), mass (260 kg), primary mirror diameter (3.5 m) and f number (f/0.5), and the operational temperature (less than 90 K). In response to these requirements a low mass, low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) telescope has been designed using carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP). This paper will first present background on the JPL/COI CFRP mirror development efforts. After selection of the material, the next two steps, that are being done in parallel, are to demonstrate that a large CFRP mirror could meet the requirements and to detail the optical, thermal and mechanical design of the telescope.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.

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