Research Summaries

Back Cost-Effective Large Aperture Imaging Satellites (Adaptive Optics Center of Excellence)

Fiscal Year 2017
Division Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science
Department Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Investigator(s) Agrawal, Jr., Brij N.
Sponsor Department of Defense Space (DoD)
Summary A large aperture space telescope can provide greater persistent surveillance since it can be placed at a higher altitude without sacrificing the imaging resolution. There are significant technical challenges to realize truly persistent surveillance capabilities due to the size and surface accuracy requirement of the primary mirror. The overall objective of the proposed effort is to develop and evaluate key technologies required to achieve cost-effective large aperture space mirrors for persistent surveillance and coherent image combining using small satellites to get effective large aperture and resilience. NPS has identified and studied several promising technologies for cost-effective large apertures including sparse aperture systems, use of a replicated carbon fiber primary mirror, and use of a deformable mirror for wavefront error correction. In FY16, NPS performed a study with JPL, Lockheed Martin, and Ball Aerospace to evaluate approaches to sparse aperture synthesis and assess technology readiness and expected performance characteristics and limitations. The sparse aperture study also included the notional design concepts for testing various aperture synthesis methods on-orbit. NPS also studied the use of a deformable mirror to the aft optics of the space telescopes. The deformable mirror technology was demonstrated in the laboratory for correction of the surface error of the carbon fiber primary mirror. Lt. Col. Matt Allen, LCDR Ernesto Villalba, and LT. Christopher Flores who performed thesis work in this area joined the sponsor in FY16. In FY17, the proposed work will include the development of the laboratory experiments on sparse aperture system integrating precise satellite formation, laser metrology, and optical alignment and phasing as well as use of Intensity Correlation Imaging. NPS will also perform systems analytical and experimental studies for deformable mirror system configuration for correction of the primary mirror surface error as well as field aberrations for large aperture space mirrors and replicated carbon fiber mirrors. AOCOE will also provide third party analysis, development, and test validation and laboratory hands-on experience to sponsors’ staff using AOCOE Testbeds. Lt. Mark Muller, who has been working on this project, will join the sponsor in FY17. LT Janet Gregalot will also work on the project in FY17.
Keywords large aperture space telescope
Publications Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal
Data Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal