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The Aragoscope: Ultra-High Resolution Optics at Low Cost
June 4, 2014

[image-51]Webster Cash
University of Colorado

Description
A new mission architecture for telescopes in space will shatter the cost barrier for large, diffraction-limited optics. The diagram in the summary chart shows a conventional telescope pointed at an opaque disk along an axis to a distant target. Rather than block the view, the disk boosts the resolution of the system with no loss of collecting area. This architecture, dubbed the “Aragoscope” in honor of the scientist who first detected the diffracted waves, can be used to achieve the diffraction limit based on the size of the low cost disk, rather than the high cost telescope mirror. One can envision affordable telescopes that could provide 7cm resolution of the ground from geosynchronous orbit or images of the sky with one thousand times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Telescope in space pointed at earth.
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Page Last Updated: June 5th, 2014
Page Editor: Loura Hall