March 4, 2009
The Kepler photometer is a simple single purpose instrument. It is basically a Schmidt telescope design with a 0.95-meter aperture and a 105 square degree (about 15 degree diameter) field-of-view (FOV). It is pointed at and records data from just a single group of stars for the entire duration of the mission. The spacecraft provides the power, pointing and telemetry for the photometer. Pointing at a single group of stars for the entire mission greatly increases the photometric stability and simplifies the spacecraft design. Other than the small reaction wheels used to maintain the pointing and an ejectable cover, there are no other moving or deployable parts.
Topics: Technology Internet, Kepler photometer, Discovery program, Spaceflight, Spacecraft design, Schmidt camera, Kepler Mission, Johannes Kepler, Spacecraft