Extremely stable pointing of the telescope is required for images on the CCD cameras to accurately measure the nature of magnetic field on the sun. An image stabilization system is installed to the Solar Optical Telescope onboard SOLAR-B, which stabilizes images on the focal plane CCD detectors in the frequency range lower than about 20Hz. The system consists of a correlation tracker and a piezo-based tip-tilt mirror with servo control electronics. The correlation tracker is a high speed CCD camera with a correlation algorithm on the flight computer, producing a pointing error from series of solar granule images. Servo control electronics drives three piezo actuators in the tip-tilt mirror. A unique function in the servo control electronics can put sine wave form signals in the servo loop, allowing us to diagnose the transfer function of the servo loop even on orbit. The image stabilization system has been jointly developed by collaboration of National Astronomical Observatory of Japan/Mitsubishi Electronic Corp. and Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory. Flight model was fabricated in summer 2003, and we measured the system performance of the flight model on a laboratory environment in September 2003, confirming that the servo stability within 0-20 Hz bandwidth is 0.001-0.002 arcsec rms level on the sun.
The solar optical telescope onboard the Solar-B is aimed to perform a high precision polarization measurements of the solar spectral lines in visible wavelengths to obtain, for the first time, continuous sets of high spatial resolution (~0.2arcsec) and high accuracy vector-magnetic-field map of the sun for studying the mechanisms driving the fascinating activity phenomena occurring in the solar atmosphere. The optical telescope assembly (OTA) is a diffraction limited, aplanatic Gregorian telescope with an aperture of Φ500mm. With a collimating lens unit and an active folding mirror, the OTA provides a pointing-stabilized parallel beam to the focal plane package (FPP) with a field of view of about 360x200arcsec. In this paper we identify the key technical issues of OTA for achieving the mission goal and describe the basic concepts in its optical, mechanical and thermal designs. The strategy to verify the in-orbit performance of the telescope is also discussed.
Future large aperture telescope projects will require very lightweight mirrors that can be produced at significantly lower cost and faster production times than currently possible. Tailorable, low thermal expansion composite materials offer an attractive path to achieve these goals. Application of carbon/carbon composites is particularly attractive as these materials do not exhibit the moisture-absorption-related expansion problems observed in typical resin matrix composites. The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation are collaborating to develop materials and surface finishing technologies to enable future carbon/carbon composite mirror applications. Material processing techniques for improved substrate surface finish have been developed. An innovative surface finish approach involving high precision machining of a metal layer applied to the mirror surface has also been developed. As a result, 150mm diameter C/C spherical mirror with honeycomb sandwich structure was successfully demonstrated.
Amplitude apodization of a telescope's pupil can be used to reduce the diffraction rings (Airy rings) in the PSF to allow high contrast imaging. Rather than achieving this apodization by selectively removing light at the edges of the pupil, we propose to produce the desired apodized pupil by redistributing the pupil's light. This lossless apodization concept can yield a high contrast PSF which allows the efficient detection of Earth-sized planets around stars at ~10pc with a 2m visible telescope in space. We review the current status of a JPL-funded study of this concept for the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission, including a lab experiment and extensive computer simulations.
The adaptive optics system for Subaru 8.2m telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory Japan has been developed for the Cassegrain ear-IR instruments, CIAO and IRCS. The system consists of a wavefront curvature sensor with 36 subaperture photon-counting avalanche photodiode modules and a bimorph deformable mirror with 36 electrodes. The expected Strehl ratio at K band exceeds 0.4 for objects that are located close enough to a bright guide star as faint as R equals 16 mag at the median seeing of 0.45 arcsec at Mauna Kea. The system will be in operation in 1999 as a natural guide star system, and will eventually be upgraded to a laser guide star system in cooperating an IR wavefront tilt sensor to provide nearly full sky. The construction of this common use system to Subaru telescope is now underway in our laboratory in Tokyo. Prior to starting the fabrication of this common use system, a full size prototype system was constructed and tested with the 1.6 m IR telescope at our observatory in Tokyo. This system has the identical optical design, deformable mirror, loop control computer to those for the Subaru system, while the wavefront sensing detectors were less-sensitive analog APDs. We succeeded in getting closed loop images of stars in K band with diffraction limited core. The Strehl ratio was around 0.5 and the factor of improvement was about 20 at K-band under the average seeing of 2 arcsec during the observation. The loop sped of the system was 2 K corrections per second.
The overall updated plan for constructing 7 scientific instruments and 3 baseline programs for the 8 m Subaru telescope is shown. Somewhat detailed descriptions are given further for projects to develop large format CCDs, faint object camera and spectrograph (FOCAS), high dispersion spectrograph (HDS), Subaru prime focus camera (Suprime-Cam), and Cassegrain adaptive optics system (AO).
The system overview and the current status of an adaptive optics system for the Cassegrain focus of Subaru 8.2 m telescope under construction atop Mauna Kea is presented. The system is composed of a wavefront curvature sensor with 36 elements photon-counting APD modules and a 36-element bimorph deformable mirror. We aim to get the Strehl ratio of greater than 0.6 at the K band (2.2 micron) using natural guide stars as wavefront reference under the average seeing condition (approximately 0.45 arcsec) at Mauna Kea. It is scheduled to be in operation in 1998. Expected performance, especially the sky coverage when employing natural guide stars are also presented. currently we are testing prototype system with basically identical specifications as those of the final system. We present here the optical system, deformable mirror, wavefront sensor, control system of the final system, and simple introduction and experimental results of the prototype system.
We propose a method to obtain the shape of a large plane surface by connecting phase distributions measured by a small-aperture interferometer. These separately measured phase distributions cannot be connected directly because the object will tilt or have vertical displacement during the measurements. To correct these errors, the measurements are made so that the adjacent interferograms have common
areas, and these interferograms are connected to minimize the difference of the phase distributions in the common areas. A matrix equation is derived to obtain coefficients to correct tilt and vertical displacement, and the accuracy of connection increases in proportion to an exponent of 1.5 of the width of the common area.
It is difficult to measure the optical surface shape of large area plane using interferometers. A part of the area of the sample is measured repeatedly by using a small aperture interferometer. The connection of the adjacent areas data is made with the aid of the least square method. This paper shows a method of connection of the measurement and shows some results of experiment.