A new economical concept of telescope for observing distant astronomical objects

Abstract

A Czech university has designed and developed a new concept of telescope that uses a parabolic belt mirror instead of a paraboloid mirror as an objective, which enables observation or astronomical measurements with good resolution in only one direction in a single shot. The technology developers are looking for partners interested in joint further research and development and for companies interested in production under a license agreement. A research cooperation agreement and license agreements are sought.

Description

The problem:

When observing a sufficiently bright object that gives enough light to be detected by the parabolic belt, fine details or subtle movements could be distinguished in the desired observed direction.

Some applications do not need “razor-sharp” images in all directions for data processing and utilization of currently used telescopes, in these cases, is unprofitable. Among such applications belong e.g. measurements of fine movement of brighter objects, where a high angular resolution in one direction is enough, preventive monitoring firmament etc.

These are the applications where the technology offered surpasses the competing solutions.

The solution offered could complement current telescopes in performing certain specific tasks by doing so more economically.

The solution offered:

Scientists from the Czech university have designed and developed a new concept of telescope with a parabolic belt instead of a paraboloid mirror, which enables observation or astronomical measurements with good resolution in only one direction in a single shot.

The telescope is able to “reconstruct” images of distant astronomical objects from a series of photographs taken with a system using the parabolic belt, each rotated with respect to others in the series by a small angle. In this was such a system can also reconstruct an image of distant objects with good angular resolution from a series of images, spread over a rotation angle of 180 degrees.

The solution is based on a part of a parabolic cylinder that is metallized such as to reflect light from the stars in the focal plane.

The technology enables the image reconstruction of distant objects even from a single image but with different angular resolutions in two orthogonal directions with accuracy sufficient for some astronomical applications, such as fine relative motions of the stars etc.

Known competing solutions:

Current telescopes are built from segments using technologically demanding adaptive optics. To reach the best resolution, very expensive interfering telescopes are built with an effective diameter of 30 meters. The technology offered is expected to be manufactured with a tape length of up to 50 meters. The resolution of the telescope with the tape having length of 1.20 meters should be similar to the resolution of a paraboloid with a diameter of 1.50 meters.

Additionally, current telescope systems for capturing images of distant objects are designed with high-resolution mirrors of large diameters. Such mirrors are difficult and expensive to manufacture and maintain (e.g. cleaning from dust particles). Precise mirrors without defects are extremely difficult to manufacture. Even the smallest mirror-defect affects observation and causes observation errors. Another disadvantage of conventional systems is the high weight of the primary optical components, which complicates transport to Earth orbit.

Partners sought:

The technology developers are looking for partners interested in joint further research and development and for companies interested in production under a license agreement. A research cooperation agreement and license agreements are sought.

Advantages and Innovations

  • As there is no lens, no paraboloid mirror, no tube and no prism but just parabolic bands instead, the construction is lighter, easier to install and the construction costs are significantly lower
  • Simple and lightweight construction;
  • Up to 4-times cheaper than existing telescopic systems (estimations are based on comparing weight, dome and structural complexity)
  • Easy to move and transport
  • Easy maintenance and cleaning from the dust

Further Information

A prototype is available for demonstration. A prototype having 30 cm length has been successfully tested in the university’s laboratory.

Application

Industry focused on optics / telescopes.  Research organizations focused on carrying out research in optics. Companies and research organizations active in space technologies. Optical transmission of information (transmitter and receiver). Remote sensing.

Description of Space Heritage

The technology has been developed under a national R&D program. Its features offer advantages for use in space. The originator has worked in the development of instruments for the Intercosmos satellite. However, the concept is generally applicable as a new possibility of constructing telescopes using mathematical computational methods for image reconstruction.

Comments on the technology by the broker

The terrestrial usage is likely to be limited. Anyways, we would like to offer the technology as it brings cost reductions and an alternative to current technologies. Any form of cooperation is negotiable.

Category
Precision Mechanics & Optics
Reference No.
TDO0220
Discussion
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