Phasing a sparse telescope

Erez N. Ribak, B. M. Levine, E. Behar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We designed and built a laboratory model of a sparse space telescope. The purpose of the model is to test various algorithmic, optical, and mechanical issues with such a telescope: how to achieve alignment after deployment that yields diffraction limited optical performance. Our model uses four non-redundant sparse sectors. Each segment has three degrees of freedom, with supplementary coarse focusing, so the search volume for a perfect image is quite large, ∼1051. We tried stochastic searches, optimizing the point spread to its minimum, and are now testing different directed search algorithms, of volume order 1019 or less. This will cut the search time from one day to about one hour, with much less chance of actuator failure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
EditorsMakenzie Lystrup, Marshall D. Perrin
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636743
StatePublished - 13 Dec 2020
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 14 Dec 202022 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • Aperture masking
  • Space telescopes
  • Sparse telescopes
  • Telescope phasing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Phasing a sparse telescope'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this