Advanced Optics for Space Applications
- Prof. Roberto Ragazzoni, University of Padua – Department of Physics and Astronomy "Galileo Galilei"
Optical systems for space applications are subject to several constraints as they are required to withstand the launch stress and to achieve prescribed performances under various conditions such as irradiance (with degradation of optical materials and coating depending upon the expected particle fluence), thermal cyclical stress (as in the case of low orbit) and in some cases even during accelerations (when mounted on spacecraft subject to maneuver during operations). I will revise some of the choices adopted in optical payloads for astronomical instrumentation but point out similarities and differences expected in other kinds of space applications like strategic imaging or optical communication. The adoption of non-conventional optical solutions, under some conditions, can become a relief for the harsh space conditions in spite of the common assumption that space devices are usually consolidated and well-tested pieces of equipment.