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22 September 2015 An evolvable space telescope for future astronomical missions 2015 update
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In 2014 we presented a concept for an Evolvable Space Telescope (EST) that was assembled on orbit in 3 stages, growing from a 4x12 meter telescope in Stage 1, to a 12-meter filled aperture in Stage 2, and then to a 20-meter filled aperture in Stage 3. Stage 1 is launched as a fully functional telescope and begins gathering science data immediately after checkout on orbit. This observatory is then periodically augmented in space with additional mirror segments, structures, and newer instruments to evolve the telescope over the years to a 20-meter space telescope. In this 2015 update of EST we focus upon three items: 1) a restructured Stage 1 EST with three mirror segments forming an off-axis telescope (half a 12-meter filled aperture); 2) more details on the value and architecture of the prime focus instrument accommodation; and 3) a more in depth discussion of the essential in-space infrastructure, early ground testing and a concept for an International Space Station testbed called MoDEST. In addition to the EST discussions we introduce a different alternative telescope architecture: a Rotating Synthetic Aperture (RSA). This is a rectangular primary mirror that can be rotated to fill the UV-plane. The original concept was developed by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems for non-astronomical applications. In collaboration with Raytheon we have begun to explore the RSA approach as an astronomical space telescope and have initiated studies of science and cost performance.
© (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ronald S. Polidan, James B. Breckinridge, Charles F. Lillie, Howard A. MacEwen, Martin R. Flannery, Dean R. Dailey, Brian Baldauf, David Makowski, and Gerald L. Rafanelli "An evolvable space telescope for future astronomical missions 2015 update", Proc. SPIE 9602, UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts VII, 960207 (22 September 2015);


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