Abstract

We describe here an off-axis design for a 4.0-m astronomical telescope. We show that the geometric optical performance of this configuration can equal that of an on-axis conventional configuration while the diffractive performance fundamentally surpasses conventional telescopes because of the absence of pupil obstruction. The specific optical design described here uses a single off-axis primary mirror to obtain three distinct final focus ports: an f/10 port (with corrector) for wide-field imaging and spectroscopy with a field of view (FOV) of 15 arc min; a small-field, 2-reflection f/10 port suitable for polarimetry and coronagraphy; and a slower, f/16 (3-reflection) port with a 7 arc min FOV. For general astronomical observations requiring high optical throughput and low scattered light, this design is superior to conventional Ritchey–Chretien optical configurations.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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