Advanced UVOIR Mirror Technology Development for Very Large Space Telescopes

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Objective of this work is to define and initiate a long-term program to mature six inter-linked critical technologies for future UVOIR space telescope mirrors to TRL6 by 2018 so that a viable flight mission can be proposed to the 2020 Decadal Review. (1) Large-Aperture, Low Areal Density, High Stiffness Mirrors: 4 to 8 m monolithic & 8 to 16 m segmented primary mirrors require larger, thicker, stiffer substrates. (2) Support System:Large-aperture mirrors require large support systems to ensure that they survive launch and deploy on orbit in a stress-free and undistorted shape. (3) Mid/High Spatial Frequency Figure Error:A very smooth mirror is critical for producing a high-quality point spread function (PSF) for high-contrast imaging. (4) Segment Edges:Edges impact PSF for high-contrast imaging applications, contributes to stray light noise, and affects the total collecting aperture. (5) Segment-to-Segment Gap Phasing:Segment phasing is critical for producing a high-quality temporally stable PSF. (6) Integrated Model Validation:On-orbit performance is determined by mechanical and thermal stability. Future systems require validated performance models. We are pursuing multiple design paths give the science community the option to enable either a future monolithic or segmented space telescope.

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