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Mirrors for Space Telescopes: Degradation Issues

Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen, Piazza Università 5, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (CRESST II), The Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Ave., Washington, DC 20064, USA
GOLD—Instituto de Optica—Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Serrano 144, 28006 Madrid, Spain
CNR-IFN, Via Trasea 7, 35127 Padova, Italy
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30, 16136 Genova, Italy
Cixi Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongguan West Road 1219, Ningbo 315201, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7538;
Received: 5 October 2020 / Revised: 20 October 2020 / Accepted: 21 October 2020 / Published: 26 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Optics and Lasers)
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 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 degrading, resulting in a drop in 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 of current mirror technology for space missions with a focus on the importance of the degradation and radiation resistance of coating materials. Special attention is given to degradation effects on mirrors for far and extreme UV, as in these ranges the degradation is enhanced by the strong absorption of most contaminants. View Full-Text
Keywords: space optics; mirrors; coatings; radiation; thin film; multilayer; degradation; contamination; space qualification space optics; mirrors; coatings; radiation; thin film; multilayer; degradation; contamination; space qualification
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MDPI and ACS Style

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. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 7538.

AMA Style

Garoli D, Rodriguez De Marcos LV, Larruquert JI, Corso AJ, Proietti Zaccaria R, Pelizzo MG. Mirrors for Space Telescopes: Degradation Issues. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(21):7538.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Garoli, Denis, Luis V. Rodriguez De Marcos, Juan I. Larruquert, Alain J. Corso, Remo Proietti Zaccaria, and Maria G. Pelizzo. 2020. "Mirrors for Space Telescopes: Degradation Issues" Applied Sciences 10, no. 21: 7538.

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