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Multiple Spacecraft Observatories for 2020 and Beyond: Breaking a Tradition of Four Centuries. Webster Cash University of Colorado. Telescope. Large Telescope. Multiple Telescopes. Radio Telescope. Large Radio Telescope. Multiple Radio Telescopes. Space Telescope. Large Space Telescopes.

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multiple spacecraft observatories for 2020 and beyond breaking a tradition of four centuries

Multiple Spacecraft Observatories for 2020 and Beyond: Breaking a Tradition of Four Centuries

Webster Cash

University of Colorado

large space telescopes
Large Space Telescopes
  • ATLAST 8-16m Visible light
  • Gen-X 1000x area, 10x res (vs Chandra)
  • SAFIR 100x Spitzer area

These represent the largest affordable telescopes.

They are being proposed right now.

multiple space telescopes
Multiple Space Telescopes

Natural Evolution, because space has major advantages

  • Stable - not rotating like Earth surface
  • No Gravity – Large Lightweight Structures
  • Large Diameters -- formation flying
  • Very Long Baselines – formation flying
  • Reduces pointing problem -- formation flying
thin lens behavior
Thin Lens Behavior

As a thin lens wobbles, the image in space does not move

Position on the detector changes only because the detector moves

formation flying
Formation Flying

If detector is on a separate craft, then a wobble in

the lens has no effect on the image.

But motion of detector relative to Line of Sight (red) does!

Much easier than stabilizing array.

constellation x
Constellation-X

Grouping of similar craft to increase area.

Can only be of use in a low noise application like x-ray astronomy.

new worlds observer
New Worlds Observer

External Occulter

Large Distance but Loose Formation

stellar imager
Stellar Imager

Dilute Aperture Telescope

maxim
MAXIM

Dilute aperture telescope

tpf i
TPF-I

Dilute aperture (nulling) telescope

slide19
LISA

Complete break with telescope tradition

But gee! It’s gravity waves. What do you expect?

trend in multiples
Trend in Multiples
  • Gang together
    • Save some money
  • Dilute aperture telescopes
    • Driven by resolution
    • Formation fly to optical tolerances
    • They’re gonna be expensive!
  • Special Applications
    • LISA for gravity waves
    • New Worlds for contrast enhancement
occulter diagram

Planet

JWST

NWD Starshade

Target Star

Occulter Diagram
  • Telescope big enough to collect enough light from planet
  • Occulter big enough to block star
    • Want low transmission on axis and high transmission off axis
  • Telescope far enough back to have a properly small IWA
  • No outer working angle: View entire system at once
performance with circularly symmetric apodization
Performance(with circularly symmetric apodization)

A 50m diameter occulter at 50,000km will reveal Earths at 10pc

a=b=12.5m

n=6

F=50,000km

image of solar system with 4m telescope
Image of Solar System with 4m Telescope

Uranus

Galaxies

Zodiacal Light

Jupiter

Saturn

Neptune

10 arcseconds

spectroscopy

H2O

O2

Spectroscopy
  • R > 100 spectroscopy will distinguish terrestrial atmospheres from Jovian with modeling

CH4

NH3

slide29

Photometry

Calculated Photometry of

Cloudless Earth as it

Rotates

It Should Be Possible to Detect Oceans and Continents!

conclusion
Conclusion

Multiple Spacecraft Observatories are inevitable

They uniquely enable fundamental new science.

They are being developed now. 2020 Observatories

Simpler applications likely to go first while the astronomy community completes its large telescope imperative.