Self-Aware Telescope: FY19 Optical Systems Technology Line-Supported Program
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Lexington United States
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Large-aperture surveillance systems have used stiff, heavy structures to minimize potential distortions while on station. One then has to tolerate any residual errors. The Self-Aware Telescope approach is to develop metrology techniques to allow lightweight systems without compromising performance by monitoring changes in the primary mirror figure with strain gauges and automatically correcting those changes without the need of a separate wavefront sensor. The metering structure and petal structure utilizes sensors and actuators to maintain overall alignment of the system. Diffractive optical elements monitor the high spatial frequency errors that deformable mirrors can correct in the optical imaging package.