Due to extraordinary distances scanned by modern telescopes, optical surfaces in such telescopes must be manufactured to unimaginable standards of perfection of a few thousandths of a centimeter. The detection of imperfections of less than 1/20 of a wavelength of light, for application in the building of the mirror for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, was undertaken. Because the mirror must be kept very cold while in space, another factor comes into effect: cryogenics. The process to test a specific morror under cryogenic conditions is described; including the follow-up analysis accomplished through computer work. To better illustrate the process and analysis, a Pyrex Hex-Core mirror is followed through the process from the laser interferometry in the lab, to computer analysis via a computer program called FRINGE. This analysis via FRINGE is detailed.
In its NASA Ames Summer High School Apprenticeship Research Program: 1986 Research Papers p 69-103 (SEE N89-18378 10-99
- Pub Date:
- September 1988
- Reflecting Telescopes;
- Computer Programs;
- Infrared Interferometers;
- Space Infrared Telescope Facility;