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James Webb Space Telescope: large deployable cryogenic telescope in space

Author:
Lightsey   Paul A.  


Journal:
Optical Engineering


Issue Date:
2012


Abstract(summary):

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is an infrared space telescope designed to explore four major science themes: first light and reionization, the assembly of galaxies, the birth of stars and protoplanetary systems, and planetary systems and origins of life. JWST is a segmented architecture telescope with an aperture of 6.6 m. It will operate at cryogenic temperature (40 K), achieved via passive cooling, in an orbit about the Earth-Sun second Lagrange point (L2). Passive cooling is facilitated by means of a large sunshield that provides thermal isolation and protection from direct illumination from the Sun. The large size of the telescope and spacecraft systems require that they are stowed for launch in a configuration that fits the Ariane 5 fairing, and then deployed after launch. Routine wavefront sensing and control measurements are used to achieve phasing of the segmented primary mirror and initial alignment of the telescope. A suite of instruments will provide the capability to observe over a spectral range from 0.6- to 27-mum wavelengths with imaging and spectroscopic configurations. An overview is presented of the architecture and selected optical design features of JWST are described.


Page:
011003


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