Naval Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI) Upgrade with Lightweight Telescopes and Adaptive Optics: A Status Update
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB KIRTLAND AFB NM REMOTE SENSING DIV
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The portability of meter-class telescopes has been limited by the weight of the mirror, tube assembly, and the mount required to provide pointing and tracking. The novel lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced polymer telescopes being developed for array population at the Naval Prototype Optical Interferometer are orders of magnitude lighter than traditional telescopes. When combined with a lightweight carbon fiber mount, these telescopes will be easily transportable from one telescope station to another to change the interferometer baseline. The mount for a lightweight telescope is currently under development at Composite Mirror Applications, Inc. This paper reports on the design constraints of the mount, the scalability to larger aperture telescopes, and the integration of sensors to measure the performance characteristics of this system during operation.
- Optical Detection and Detectors