NetComposites
Airtech

Composite Telescope Structure for New NASA Space

26 November 2002

ATK is the composite structures supplier on a team that will build NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a powerful new space-based observatory designed to replace the Hubble Space Telescope.

ATK Composites will be responsible for design, fabrication, and testing of the composite telescope structure, which includes backing structures and struts for the telescope's two deployable mirrors and support structures for the aft optics. The structures will be manufactured from a proprietary graphite hybrid material using advanced hand layup and precision bonding techniques specifically designed for critical thermal distortion performance at cryogenic temperatures.

TRW will design and fabricate the observatory's primary mirror and spacecraft, and will be responsible for systems integration, pre-flight testing, and on-orbit checkout of the observatory. Other key teammates on the project include Ball Aerospace and Eastman Kodak.

""The James Webb Space Telescope will require thermally stable structures that perform with uncompromising precision,"" said Travis Campbell, president, ATK Composites. ""We're proud to provide that capability and be teamed with TRW in the development of this sophisticated, new science instrument with unprecedented capabilities.""

The next-generation telescope will be able to peer farther into space and with greater clarity than any previous telescope at a fraction of the size and overall cost of the Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists hope to use the telescope to gain a greater understanding of the origins and structure of the universe and make predictions about its ultimate fate.

The telescope will operate in cryogenic temperatures below -390 degrees F in a Lagrange 2 orbit over 940,000 miles from Earth. When deployed, its primary mirror will be approximately 20 feet in diameter.






Related / You might like...

Alvant Supports £28m Safran-Led Aircraft Landing Gear Project

Alvant has been appointed to work on a two-year, £28 million project titled Large Landing Gear of the Future, which aims to deliver a 30% weight reduction and assist the aerospace industry’s drive to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

3D Printed Drone Prototype Wins Red Dot 2018 Design Award

Hexadrone’s 3D printed Tundra prototype, manufactured by CRP Technology via laser sintering (LS) technology using Windform SP and Windform XT 2.0 carbon composite materials, has won the Red Dot Award 2018 in the drone category.

Norco Composites Invests in New Equipment

UK company Norco Composites has invested in a larger spray booth and a new cutting and kitting machine to enable the company to increase productivity in line with growing demand from its marine customers.