ENP Newswire -
Release date- 06122013 -
Ball is incrementally demonstrating technology needed to deploy a large, 20-meter-diameter, lightweight space-based telescope in geosynchronous orbit as part of the Membrane Optic Imager Real-time Exploitation (MOIRE) program, led by the
Most recently, Ball completed construction and testing of one-eighth of a 5-meter-diameter annular segmented telescope to verify functionality of the MOIRE design.
'The ground demonstration substantiates that this innovative technology could work on next generation space telescopes to greatly reduce their costs and enable larger telescopes,' said
The lightweight optics developed under the MOIRE program reduces the mass of large aperture telescopes by nearly an order of magnitude compared to those with conventional optics. Since costs scale roughly with spacecraft mass, one key to affordability is minimizing the mass of future space optics. This technology could lend itself to easily stowed configurations for launch within a payload shroud that could be deployed on orbit.
The telescope concept that Ball developed employs thin (less than 1/1000th of an inch) transparent membranes etched with a diffraction pattern as the primary optical element used to focus light.
'This is the first design to use transparent membranes on a large scale,' said
To produce MOIRE's optical-quality polymer membranes and the precision etching needed to generate the diffraction pattern, Ball worked with
Following the successful ground-based proof of concept for MOIRE, the Ball team intends to pursue additional funding to move the technology forward.
[Editorial queries for this story should be sent to email@example.com]
((Comments on this story may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org))
Most Popular Stories
- 5 Notable Hispanic Technology Executives
- Top Hispanic Tech Companies Push for the Top
- Russia, Crimea Discuss Referendum
- Maya Angelou Cancels Milagro Gala Appearance Due to Illness
- 'Holy grail of guitars' OM-45 Deluxe Available in in NY Auction
- Justin Bieber Loses Cool Over Selena Gomez
- Spotify Picking up Echo Nest
- GOP 2016 Hopefuls Face Off at CPAC
- Getty Releases Millions of Images for Free Via Embed Tool
- Daylight Savings Time Comes This Weekend