Small telescopes for nanosatellites subject of research and development agreementNews
July 17, 2020
LIVERMORE, Calif. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems (Irvine, California) have reached a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to develop innovative compact and robust telescopes for nanosatellites; it is hoped that In the future small satellites will use the advanced optical imaging payloads to collect information for remote sensing data users.
The four-year, $2 million CRADA will combine LLNL’s Monolithic Telescope (MonoTele) technology with Tyvak’s experience producing high-reliability spacecraft. The MonoTele consists of a space telescope made out of a single, monolithic fused silica slab that enables the optic lens to operate within tight tolerances. LLNL's approach to fabrication does not require on-orbit alignment, which simplifies spacecraft design and shrinks spacecraft size, weight, and power needs.
According to information from Tyvak, the MonoTele space telescopes -- ranging in size from one inch (called the mini-monolith) to 14 inches -- provide imaging for nanosatellites, which are about the size of a large shoebox and weighing less than 22 pound; and microsatellites, which are about the size of a dorm refrigerator and weighing up to several hundred pounds.
MonoTele space telescopes range in size from one inch (called the mini-monolith) to 14 inches.
The MonoTele technology provides imaging for nanosatellites, about the size of a large shoebox and weighing less than 22 pounds, and microsatellites, about the size of a dorm refrigerator and weighing up to several hundred pounds.
For its part, Tyvak will provide the spacecraft and payload, consisting of the MonoTele, sensor, and electronics, ensuring survivability in a demanding vibration environment during launch and wide-ranging temperatures on-orbit; LLNL will then apply its knowledge of novel optical payloads to develop, test, and process data gathered from the sensors.