doi: 10.17586/2226-1494-2015-15-5-825-830


REFINED MODEL OF THE OPTICAL SYSTEM FOR SPACE MINI-VEHICLES WITH LASER PROPULSION

M. S. Egorov, Y. A. Rezunkov


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Article in Russian

For citation: Egorov M.S., Rezunkov Yu.A. Refined model of the optical system for space mini-vehicles with laser propulsion. Scientific and Technical Journal of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, 2015, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 825–830.

Abstract

Simulation results for on-board optical system of a space mini-vehicle with laser propulsion are presented. This system gives the possibility for receiving theremote laser radiation power independently of a system telescope mutual orientation to the vehicle orbiting direction. The on-board optical system is designed with the use of such optical elements as optical hinges and turrets. The system incorporates the optical switch that is a special optical system adapting optically both receiving telescope and laser propulsion engines. Modeling and numerical simulation of the system have been performed with the use of ZEMAX software (Radiant Ltd). The object matter of calculations lied in size definition of system optical elements, requirements to accuracy of their manufacturing and reciprocal adjusting to achieve an efficient radiation energy delivery to laser propulsion engine. Calculations have been performed with account to the limitations on the mini-vehicle mass, its overall dimensions, and radiation threshold density of the optical elements utilized. The requirements to the laser beam quality at the entrance aperture of laser propulsion engine have been considered too. State-of-the-art optical technologies make it possible to manufacture space reflectors made of CO-115M glassceramics with weight-reducing coefficient of 0.72 and the radiation threshold of 5 J/cm2 for the radiation with a 1.064 microns wavelength at 10-20 ns pulse duration. The optimal diameter of a receiving telescope primary mirror has been 0.5 m when a coordinated transmitting telescope diameter is equal to 1 m. This provides the reception of at least 84% of laser energy. The main losses of radiation energy are caused by improper installation of receiving telescope mirrors and by in-process errors arising at manufacturing the telescope mirrors with a parabolic surface. It is shown that requirements to the in-process admissible errors for the on-board optical system elements and to their mutual adjustment accuracy are enhanced, but they are feasible at the same time. The proposed onboard optical system are usable both for space mini-vehicle with laser propulsion and for wireless technology of energy delivery through space with the use of lasers. 


Keywords: on-board optical system, turret, optical hinge, optical switch, mini-vehicle, laser propulsion.

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