Abstract

Study of a design for a large infrared telescope, consisting of six independent optical systems, shows that it is possible to control the optical path differences and phases such that aperture synthesis can be achieved. A thin compensating prism in each optical path can compensate simultaneously the path errors for all objects in the field of view of the telescope. Design parameters for a 5.6-m system are given.

© 1970 Optical Society of America

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Basic configuration for a six-mirror system of independent telescopes.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Photo of scale model of COLT.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Comparison of basic optical path differences for a synthetic aperture formed from independent telescopes and sections of a paraboloid. Note that paths OAF and PBF are equal (for small θ), whereas paths OAF and PBF differ by .

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Schematic diagram of field of A and B approaching focus at a convergence angle ϕ to the combined optical axis. When A(0) and B(0) are made coincident, the two focal surfaces are tilted with respect to each other, and A(θ) and B(θ) do not coincide.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Diagram showing optical path shift caused by path l in compensating prism α.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Diagram of complete optical paths, when A(θ),B(θ) is compensated for both the θ term and the ϕ term in the optical path length difference.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Amplitude of the comalike error introduced into the converging beam by the prism (α = 1.17°, n = 4.00), requiring compensating coma from collimation of the cassegrainian secondary or equivalent optical element.

Equations (17)

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Δ = S θ .
= l [ ( n - 1 ) / n ] .
Δ = L - ( l + L - l n ) + = l ( n - 1 ) + = l ( n - 1 ) + l [ ( n - 1 ) / n ] = l [ ( n 2 - 1 ) / n ] .
α = l / 2 θ f , δ = ( n - 1 ) α , β = / 2 θ f = l / 2 θ f [ ( n - 1 ) / n ] , γ = Δ / 2 θ f = l / 2 θ f [ ( n 2 - 1 ) / n ] ,
γ - β = δ ,
2 f θ α [ ( n 2 - 1 ) / n ] = S θ ,
α = ( S / 2 f ) [ n / ( n 2 - 1 ) ] .
ϕ = γ - δ ,
l / 2 θ f = α ,
ϕ = α [ ( n 2 - 1 ) / n ] - ( n - 1 ) α ,
ϕ = α [ ( n - 1 ) / n ] = δ / n .
s = 2 L tan γ , s = 2 L { ( S / 2 f ) [ n / ( n 2 - 1 ) ] [ ( n 2 - 1 ) / n ] , s = L S / f .
d = L D / f ,
s / d = S / D ,
θ m = s / f , θ m = L S / f 2 .
S = 3.82 m , f = 25.40 m , L = 127 cm , n = 4.00 ,
α = 0.020 rad = 1.17° , s = 19.1 cm , θ m = 0.0075 rad = 0.43° , ϕ = 0.86° .

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