Characterization of the lightweight telescope developed for the NPOI

Jonathan R. Andrews, F. Ernesto Penado, Scott T. Broome, Christopher C. Wilcox, Sergio R. Restaino, Ty Martinez, Scott W. Teare, Freddie Santiago

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


A 0.4 meter lightweight telescope has been developed as a prototype for a future 1.4 meter telescope to be implemented at the Naval Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI). Using carbon fiber construction for all components, including optics, an order of magnitude reduction in weight is easily obtainable, with the estimated weight of the 1.4 meter telescope being less than 300 pounds. However, lightweight composite materials traditionally offer certain drawbacks, such as different material behavior and vibration characteristics from conventional materials and difficulty in obtaining optical surface quality. This paper describes the characterization of the mechanical properties of the advanced materials used in the construction of these telescopes and includes measurements of the optical figure obtained with carbon fiber construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Telescopes
StatePublished - 2006
EventGround-based and Airborne Telescopes - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: May 24 2006May 31 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume6267 II
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherGround-based and Airborne Telescopes
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


  • Carbon fiber
  • Instrumentation
  • Lightweight
  • Telescope
  • Telescope characterization
  • Telescope optics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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