Orbit and geometry constraints on the design and operation of a long-life SIRTF missionFor a long-life SIRTF mission, the ability of the telescope to observe targets everywhere in the sky is an important requirement. For low-inclination orbits, a telescope aperture shade must be designed for Sun and Earth Limb avoidance angles of 50 deg to 60 deg to prevent unwanted radiation from entering the telescope. The minimum orbit inclination depends on the Earth Limb avoidance angle. About 30 percent of the sky will be prohibited for observations during any day in orbit, with about 100 days in orbit required to observe the entire sky.
Jackson, R. W. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)