Design and implementation of sparse aperture imaging systems

Soon Jo Chung, David W. Miller, Olivier L. De Weck

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

In order to better understand the technological difficulties involved in designing and building a sparse aperture array, the challenge of building a white light Golay-3 telescope was undertaken. The MIT Adaptive Reconnaissance Golay-3 Optical Satellite (ARGOS) project exploits wide-angle Fizeau interferometer technology with an emphasis on modularity in the optics and spacecraft subsystems. Unique design procedures encompassing the nature of coherent wavefront sensing, control and combining as well as various system engineering aspects to achieve cost effectiveness, are developed. To demonstrate a complete spacecraft in a 1-g environment, the ARGOS system is mounted on a frictionless air-bearing, and has the ability to track fast orbiting satellites like the ISS or the planets. Wavefront sensing techniques are explored to mitigate initial misalignment and to feed back real-time aberrations into the optical control loop. This paper presents the results and the lessons learned from the conceive, design and implementation phases of ARGOS. A preliminary assessment shows that the beam combining problem is the most challenging aspect of sparse optical arrays. The need for optical control is paramount due to tight beam combining tolerances. The wavefront sensing/control requirements appear to be a major technology and cost driver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume4849
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
EventHighly Innovative Space Telescope Concepts - Waikoloa, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 22 2002Aug 23 2002

Keywords

  • Fizeau interferometer
  • Multiple-aperture optical systems
  • Phased telescope array
  • Sparse aperture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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