Spherical reflectors for space based telescopes

Christopher K. Walket, I. Steve Smith, Paul F. Goldsmith, Stefan O'Dougherty, Yuzuru Takashima, Daewook Kim

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

4 Scopus citations


The realization of a large, space-based 10+ meter class telescope for far-infrared/TeraHertz studies has long been a goal of NASA. Such a telescope could study the origins of stars, planets, molecular clouds, and galaxies; providing a much needed means of following-up on tantalizing results from recent successful missions such as Spitzer, Herschel, SOFIA, and, in the near future, JWST. Indeed, Herschel began its life in the US space program as the Large Deployable Reflector (LDR) - to be assembled in low Earth orbit by shuttle astronauts. Escalating costs and smaller federal budget allocations resulted in a downsizing of the mission. However, by combining break-through technologies utilizing spherical reflectors and inflatable structures, the dream of a 10+ meter class space telescope can be realized. The same telescope technology can also be used to perform sensitive, high spectral and spatial resolution limb sounding studies of the Earth's atmosphere in greenhouse gases such as CO, ClO, O3, and water, as well as serve as a high flying hub for any number of telecommunications and surveillance activities. In our paper we discuss the prospects of using inflatable, spherical reflectors to realize a ∼25 meter TeraHertz Space telescope (TST).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium, IMS 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781509063604
StatePublished - Oct 4 2017
Event2017 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium, IMS 2017 - Honololu, United States
Duration: Jun 4 2017Jun 9 2017

Publication series

NameIEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest
ISSN (Print)0149-645X


Other2017 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium, IMS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Deployable antennas
  • Far-infrared astronomy
  • Inflatable antennas
  • Space telescopes
  • Terahertz astronomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Spherical reflectors for space based telescopes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this