Why the Black Budget is Bad for Science....

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posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 11:11 AM
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ErosA433
The apparent true story seems to be more of a frustrated joke than anything serious. The optics capable of what you speak would have to be far larger than what is currently in space, Spy satellites are not all about putting the biggest camera on the front possible. In terms of optics, spy satellites actually have a couple of lens elements to allow focusing on something that is fairly close, at high accuracy, while also collecting enough light.

Hubble is simply not big enough, and the facilities used to grind large mirrors for possible use in spy satellites are commercial ones. Hubble could have been alot cheaper to make if the design for the mirror was something like 1 inch smaller diameter. Why? well because the company who made it already had things set up to fill a military contract order.


I believe the optics for Hubble were done by Perkin-Elmer, which had the (then completely secret) contracts for the NRO satellites, so to say it's a spy satellite pointing up isn't far from the truth. Sensors and data handling are different, but optics & thermal engineering is probably similar.

(And maybe the original optics error on the Hubble was a result of internal processes being calibrated for the Other Customer instead of NASA).
edit on 18-11-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)
edit on 18-11-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 01:47 PM
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An improved replacement for Hubble doesn't need to be bigger. What it would have to be is two or three slightly smaller hubbles that have onboard atomic clocks that are precision stationed from each other (possibly using lasers) so that accurate interferometry can be done. Supposedly there is a series of downward pointing sats that use such methods, and that's what's not currently available for pointing the other way. (At least for anything in orbit, some ground telescopes use it. But there's atmosphere and weather in the way.)

So it's not so much optics (which can be available, such as Hubble), but better CCDs or other collectors to gather data, and having data collected in a way that allows more advanced processing.

Tech is there, but not the budget.



posted on Nov, 20 2013 @ 09:43 PM
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pauljs75
An improved replacement for Hubble doesn't need to be bigger. What it would have to be is two or three slightly smaller hubbles that have onboard atomic clocks that are precision stationed from each other (possibly using lasers) so that accurate interferometry can be done. Supposedly there is a series of downward pointing sats that use such methods,


In microwaves, maybe----but in optical?



posted on Nov, 20 2013 @ 10:09 PM
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reply to post by mbkennel
 


For optical it's generally easier to get a big aperture with SAL, although it doesn't give you true optical images but surfaces.



 
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