We are part of a science team consisting of industrial and academic partners from five different countries and with various expertises in the field of astronomy, optics, carbon-fiber re-enforced plastics, and control theory. We want to investigate a completely new concept of a deployable space telescope for far-infrared observation.


TALC has an outer diameter of 20 m. The annular mirror has a width of 3 m. It will be deployed by a telescopic central mast. The surface of the telescope shall be passively cooled, protected by a sunshield like the one used by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). With this sunshield, the temperature shall be kept between 50K and 80K when placed at the Lagrange point L2.


The telescope consists of 24 stacked mirror segments which, in the deployed state, build a ring with a width of 3 m. The structure is similar to a big ferry wheel. The central mast carries the sensor and two bundles of ropes which shall hold the mirror segments in a precise position.

This invention revives the concept of tensegrity which is based on a rigid structure obtained by members that are exposed to tension and compression only but not to bending moments. The structure will incorporate active and adaptive optics in order to achieve low wavefront errors.


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