The telescope is a Ritchey-Chrétien design, known from on-orbit measurements to be diffraction-limited at 5.5 microns over the IRAC field of view, and expected to be diffraction-limited at 6.5 microns over the entire field of view. The 85-cm diameter primary mirror and the rest of the telescope structure were fabricated entirely of beryllium, utilizing advances in optical design, testing, and fabrication to produce a lightweight telescope that operates at cryogenic temperatures. The optical design parameters for the telescope are summarized in Table 3.3 below. The telescope configuration is shown in Figure 3.11.
Figure 3.11: Spitzer Telescope Assembly.
Table 3.3: Telescope Configuration.
Optimal Parameter Description
Value at 5.5 K
Back focal length (PM vertex to focus)
Field of View (diameter)
Field curvature radius
3 µm180 µm
Diameter of OD obscuration
Diameter of ID obscuration
Linear obscuration ratio
Edge of primary mirror
Primary Mirror (hyperbola)
Secondary Mirror (hyperbola)
Clear aperture (OD)
PM to SM spacing (vertex to vertex)
The telescope employs a single arch primary mirror, which reduces mass. The primary mirror is supported on three bipod flexures relatively close to its axis. The spider blades, primary mirror baffle, and secondary mirror baffle are integrated into a one-piece, relatively small diameter metering tower extending through the central hole in the primary mirror.