[Seminar] James Webb Space Telescope: The First Light Machine, by Philip Stahl
James Webb Space Telescope: The First Light Machine
H. Philip Stahl
Space Optics Manufacturing Technology Center
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812
Scheduled to begin its 10 year mission 22 Dec 2021, the Webb Space Telescope (WST) 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, WST will be the world’s largest space telescope. This talk reviews science objectives for WST and how they drive the WST architecture, e.g. aperture, wavelength range and operating temperature. Additionally, the talk provides an overview of the WST primary mirror technology development and fabrication status.
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 Webb Space Telescope (WST) 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 WST, including AMSD; and was a voting member of the WST 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).