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26 February 2003 From monolithics to tethers to freeflyers: the spectrum of large aperture sensing from space
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As part of The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) endeavor to push the envelope and go where we have never been before, the Space Science Enterprise has laid out a vision which includes several missions that revolutionize the collection of scientific data from space. Many of the missions designed to meet the objectives of these programs depend heavily on the ability to perform space-based interferometry, which has recently become a rapidly growing field of investigation for both the scientific and engineering communities. While scientists are faced with the challenges of designing high fidelity optical systems capable of making detailed observations, engineers wrestle with the problem of providing space-based platforms that can permit this data gathering to occur. Observational data gathering is desired at a variety of spectral wavelengths and resolutions, calling for interferometers with a range of baseline requirements. Approaches to configuration design are as varied as the missions themselves from large monolithic spacecraft to multiple free-flying small spacecraft and everything in between. As will be discussed, no one approach provides a ?panacea? of solutions rather each has its place in terms of the mission requirements. The purpose here is to identify the advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches, to discuss the driving factors in design selection and determine the relative range of applicability of each design approach.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jesse Leitner, Dave Quinn, and Mark M. Matsumura "From monolithics to tethers to freeflyers: the spectrum of large aperture sensing from space", Proc. SPIE 4852, Interferometry in Space, (26 February 2003);


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