Abstract

Space observations of fainter and more distant astronomical objects constantly require telescope primary mirrors with larger sizes. The diameters of monolithic primary mirrors are restricted to 10 m because of manufacturing limitations. For space telescopes, the primary mirrors are limited to less than 5 m due to fairing capacity. Segmented primary mirrors thus constitute an alternative solution to deal with the steady increase of primary mirror size. The optical path difference between the individual segments must be close to 0 (a few nanometers) in order to be diffraction-limited. In this paper, we propose a new intersegment piston sensor based on the coherence measurement of a star image. This sensor is intended to be used in the co-phasing system of future segmented mirrors.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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