Rectangular Earth-Imaging Fast-Spinning Aperture Telescope

Project Info

Project Description

A rectangular “strip” mirror (see figure) whose length is equal to the diameter of a circular mirror can achieve the same angular resolution if it is spun while imaging. However, due to Meinel’s Law, which states that the cost of a circular mirror goes as diameter to the 2.8 power, the cost of a strip mirror can be only 18% of the cost of a circular mirror and easier to stow and deploy from a launch vehicle fairing. Spinning apertures at small (CubeSat) scale can ride share with other payloads for use at Earth and Mars. Analysis has shown that spinning apertures at large scale (10s of meters in length) can be quite cost effective for Exo-planet detection and characterization.