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Star-9 is an experimental demonstration of distributed-aperture imaging built at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center. White light from a scene generator enters an array of nine telescopes and is combined at a focused image plane. Relative aberrations from each telescope are regulated by a control system using phase diversity and active relay mirrors. A Weiner filter is applied to the image, and the resulting angular resolution and image quality are nearly diffraction-limited with the diameter of the array. The control system takes estimates from the phase diversity algorithm and uses them to command mirrors to adjust tip, tilt, and piston in each telescope. Each active mirror has inductive position sensors for local position control. The mirrors are actuated by picomotors and inchworm motors. In addition to tip/tilt/piston errors, the control system is equipped to correct for pupil geometry and rotation errors, and to perform field of regard steering. In this paper, we present details on the control system's local sensing, control law synthesis, and precision actuation methodology. We also describe the incorporation of phase diversity and automated phasing algorithms with the control system and give performance results.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2010