AAS 197, January 2001
Session 61. Dark Energy, Cosmology, and the SNAP Mission
Oral, Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 10:30am-12:00noon, Sunrise

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[61.03] The SNAP spacecraft, optics, and primary mission plan

M. Lampton (UCB Space Sciences Laboratory), SNAP Collaboration

The SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission uses frequent deep reobservation of selected survey fields to deliver its planned detection rate of Type 1a supernovae at cosmological distances. The primary science mission is conducted in two alternating phases: discovery, which demands large sky coverage and sensitivity, and follow-up spectroscopy of detected SNe. The combination of sky area and sensitivity will be achieved in part through the use of a two-meter-aperture three-mirror-anastigmat telescope that delivers nearly diffraction-limited images in the visible and near-IR throughout its one square degree field of view. The spacecraft will include an attitude control system with focal plane sensors giving sustained pointing accuracy better than 0.03 arc seconds. Additional features include a 50Mb/s downlink data rate that will allow the image processing and data processing to be conducted at our ground facility rather than onboard. The orbits being studied for SNAP are high Earth orbits that keep the spacecraft well outside the geomagnetically trapped energetic particle environment, with inclinations high enough to minimize or eliminate eclipses to achieve the best possible thermal stability.

This research has been supported in part by the U.S.Department of Energy.

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