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A new type of space telescope with a 3 mm × 3 mm Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) micromirror array has been fabricated and launched into space. This telescope has unique features: a wide field of surveillance view, and fast zoom-in and tracking capabilities. Although the micromirror array area is small, the space telescope was capable of observing the space-time development of extreme lightning in the upper atmosphere. It fulfilled its purpose by proving the principles of a space telescope. The concept and technologies used in this telescope can be extended to large MEMS space telescopes for future missions for earth and space science, including gamma ray bursts and ultra high energy cosmic rays. The performance of the space telescope during the ground test before launch as well as its performance in space are here presented to demonstrate the fast zoom-in and tracking capabilities of the telescope.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:50 , Issue: 10 )
Date of Publication: Oct. 2012