Date Published: April 2023
The Optica Publishing Group highlighted a paper published by a team of researchers at UArizona with industry partners, Nikon, Northrop Grumman and L'Garde, for the "Spotlight on Optics" feature. The team includes students from the labs of Profs. Daewook Kim, Yuzuru Takashima, and Chris Walker at Steward Observatory. The paper “Modeling and Characterization of OASIS Inflatable Primary Antenna by Dual Modality Metrology” discusses the concept of a 14m aperture inflatable space observatory and its feasibility study focusing on the primary inflatable mirror. The antennas (i.e. mirrors) are innovative because they are not rigid but consist of two membranes that bend under the pressure exerted by a gas introduced between them. The new approach to space telescopes could lower the cost of astronomical satellites and lead the way for the future of large, space-based inflatable mirrors.