Laser Guide Star for Large Segmented-aperture Space Telescopes. I. Implications for Terrestrial Exoplanet Detection and Observatory Stability
Author(s)Douglas, Ewan S.; Males, Jared R.; Clark, James R; Guyon, Olivier; Lumbres, Jennifer R.; Marlow, Weston A.; Cahoy, Kerri; ... Show more Show less
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Precision wavefront control on future segmented-aperture space telescopes presents significant challenges, particularly in the context of high-contrast exoplanet direct imaging. We present a new wavefront control architecture that translates the ground-based artificial guide star concept to space with a laser source on board a second spacecraft, formation flying within the telescope's field of view. We describe the motivating problem of mirror segment motion and develop wavefront sensing requirements as a function of guide star magnitude and segment motion power spectrum. Several sample cases with different values for transmitter power, pointing jitter, and wavelength are presented to illustrate the advantages and challenges of having a non-stellar-magnitude noise limited wavefront sensor for space telescopes. These notional designs allow increased control authority, potentially relaxing spacecraft stability requirements by two orders of magnitude and increasing terrestrial exoplanet discovery space by allowing high-contrast observations of stars of arbitrary brightness. ©2019 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
American Astronomical Society
Douglas, Ewan S., et. al., “Laser Guide Star for Large Segmented-Aperture Space Telescopes. I. Implications for Terrestrial Exoplanet Detection and Observatory Stability.” The Astronomical Journal 157, 1 (January 2019): 36 doi. 10.3847/1538-3881/aaf385 ©2019 Authors
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