James Webb Space Telescope: The First Light Machine

March 25, 2015
Speaker: Dr. H. Philip Stahl, Space Optics Manufacturing Technology Center, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center


Scheduled to begin its 10 year mission after 2018, the James Webb Space
Telescope (JWST) will search for the first luminous objects of the Universe
to help answer fundamental questions about how the Universe came to look
like it does today. At 6.5 meters in diameter, JWST will be the world’s
largest space telescope. This talk reviews science objectives for JWST and
how they drive the JWST architecture, e.g. aperture, wavelength range and
operating temperature. Additionally, the talk provides an overview of the
JWST primary mirror technology development and fabrication status.

Speaker Bio

Dr. H. Philip Stahl is a Senior Optical Physicist at NASA MSFC currently
leading a study to mature mirror technologies for a new large aperture
UV/Optical/IR telescope to replace Hubble. Previous assignments include
Astrophysics Division Deputy Assistant Director for Technology; and the
James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Optical Telescope Element (OTE) Mirror
Optics Lead responsible for the primary, secondary and tertiary mirrors.
Dr. Stahl co-authored two NASA technology studies: Science Instruments,
Observatories and Sensor Systems Technology Roadmap; and Advanced Telescope
and Observatory Capability Roadmap. Dr. Stahl was responsible for
developing candidate primary mirror technologies for JWST, including AMSD;
and was a voting member of the JWST Source Evaluation Board. Additionally,
he is the originator of the annual “Mirror Technology Days in the
Government” workshops.

Dr. Stahl is a leading authority in optical metrology, optical engineering,
and phase-measuring interferometry. Many of the world's largest telescopes
have been fabricated with the aid of high-speed and infrared
phase-measuring Interferometers developed by him, including the Keck, VLT
and Gemini telescopes. He is a member of OSA, Fellow of SPIE, past ICO
Vice President and 2013 SPIE President-Elect. He earned his PhD and MS in
Optical Science at the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center in
1985 and 1983, and his BA in Physics and Mathematics from Wittenberg
University (1979).

Hosted by IGERT and Columbia's student chapter of SPIE/OSA.

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