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Fast, wide-field and distortion-free telescope with curved detectors for surveys at ultralow surface brightness

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Abstract

We present the design of an all-reflective, bifolded Schmidt telescope aimed at surveys of extended astronomical objects with extremely low surface brightness. The design leads to a high image quality without any diffracting spider, a large aperture and field of view (FoV), and a small central obstruction that barely alters the point spread function (PSF). As an example, we design a high-quality, 36 cm diameter, fast (f/2.5) telescope working in the visible with a large FoV (1.6°×2.6°). The telescope can operate with a curved detector (or with a flat detector with a field flattener) and a set of filters. The entrance mirror is anamorphic and replaces the classical Schmidt entrance corrector plate. We show that this anamorphic primary mirror can be manufactured through stress polishing, avoiding high spatial frequency errors, and testing with a simple interferometer scheme. This prototype is intended to serve as a fast-track scientific and technological pathfinder for the future space-based MESSIER mission.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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