Structural Design of Large Space Telescope

by Gerald W. Arnts, Jr., Aerospace Engr.; AST Flight Systems, Sci. and Engrg. Directorate, Office of Chf. Engr., NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 2, Pg. 363-375

Document Type: Journal Paper


The structure used in the Large Space Telescope is both varied and unique due to the extremes of the environment that it will have to operate. This structure has to maintain accuracies of alinement in space that manufacturers have never been able to achieve on earth. The structure has to be designed to maintain minimum loads in the optics because of the brittleness of the mirror. To be able to locate faint objects in space, a practically contamination free environment in the optics and focal plane area is mandatory. To achieve these goals the structure is being designed of aluminum, titanium, graphite-epoxy, and possibly some invar. The use of an active and passive thermal control system will be used to help the structure maintain the necessary alinements. It is hoped that this unique structural arrangement and the method used to test the Large Space Telescope will pave the way for use of more structures capable of alinement accuracies unused before in space history.

Subject Headings: Structural design | Space structures | Telescopes | Space exploration | Control systems | Soil structures | Load factors | Brittleness

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