The American astronomer and lens designer James Gilbert Baker first proposed a Cassegrain design for Bernhard Schmidt‘s Schmidt camera in 1940. The optical shop at Mount Wilson Observatory manufactured the first one during World War II as part of their research into optical designs for the military. As in the Schmidt camera, this design uses a spherical primary mirror and a Schmidt corrector plate to correct for spherical aberration. In this Cassegrain configuration the convex secondary mirror acts as a field flattener and relays the image through the perforated primary mirror to a final focal plane located behind the primary. Some designs include additional optical elements (such as field flatteners) near the focal plane. The first large telescope to use the design was the James Gregory Telescope of 1962 at the University of St Andrews.
Light path in a Schmidt–Cassegrain
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