Utilization of a Curved Local Surface Array in a 3.5m Wide field of View Telescope
DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY ARLINGTON VA TACTICAL TECHNOLOGY OFFICE
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Wide field of view optical telescopes have a range of uses for both astronomical and space-surveillance purposes. In designing these systems, a number of factors must be taken into account and design trades accomplished to best balance the performance and cost constraints of the system. One design trade that has been discussed over the past decade is the curving of the digital focal surface array to meet the field curvature versus using optical elements to flatten the field curvature for a more traditional focal plane array. For the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA 3.5-m Space Surveillance Telescope SST, the choice was made to curve the array to best satisfy the stressing telescope performance parameters, along with programmatic challenges. The results of this design choice led to a system that meets all of the initial program goals and dramatically improves the nation s space surveillance capabilities. This paper will discuss the implementation of the curved focal-surface array, the performance achieved by the array, and the cost level-of-effort difference between the curved array versus a typical flat one.
- Optical Detection and Detectors