Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Mirrors for Space Telescopes: Degradation Issues

Version 1 : Received: 5 October 2020 / Approved: 6 October 2020 / Online: 6 October 2020 (16:10:07 CEST)

How to cite: Garoli, D.; Rodriguez de Marcos, L.V.; Larruquert, J.I.; Corso, A.J.; Proietti Zaccaria, R.; Pelizzo, M.G. Mirrors for Space Telescopes: Degradation Issues. Preprints 2020, 2020100141 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0141.v1). Garoli, D.; Rodriguez de Marcos, L.V.; Larruquert, J.I.; Corso, A.J.; Proietti Zaccaria, R.; Pelizzo, M.G. Mirrors for Space Telescopes: Degradation Issues. Preprints 2020, 2020100141 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0141.v1).

Abstract

Mirrors are a subset of optical components essential for the success of current and future space missions. Most of the telescopes for space programs ranging from Earth Observation to Astrophysics and covering the whole electromagnetic spectrum from X-rays to Far-Infrared are based on reflective optics. Mirrors operate in diverse and harsh environments that range from Low-Earth Orbit, to interplanetary orbits and the deep space. The operational life of space observatories spans from minutes (sounding rockets) to decades (large observatories), and the performance of the mirrors within the mission lifetime is susceptible to degrade, which results in a drop of the instrument throughput, which in turn affects the scientific return. Therefore, the knowledge of potential degradation mechanisms, how they affect mirror performance, and how to prevent them is of paramount importance to ensure the long-term success of space telescopes. In this review we report an overview on current mirror technology for space missions with a focus on the importance of degradation and radiation resistance of the coating materials. A special attention will be given to degradation effects on mirrors for the far and extreme UV as in these ranges the degradation is enhanced by the strong absorption of most contaminants.

Subject Areas

space optics; mirrors; coatings; radiation; thin film; multilayer; degradation; contamination; optical systems

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