The Colossus Telescope will be the world-largest optical and infrared telescope optimized for detecting extrasolar life and extraterrestrial civilizations. It consists of 58 independent off-axis 8m telescopes which effectively merge telescope-interferometry concepts, yielding 74m diameter effective resolution.
The primary consists of 58x8m off-axis parabolic primaries. The secondary structure is less than 5m in diameter with 60 independent 0.5m optics. Thus, every primary is served by its own secondary which bring light into one Gregorian focus.
Each secondary mirror is illuminated by one primary mirror segment and becomes its steering and phasing element. In this way each beam is combined coherently at the Gregorian focus of the larger, two-axis tracking, primary parent optics without interferometer delay-lines.
This optical system achieves the full angular resolution of the parent while efficiently matching the “softness” of the mechanical structure to the atmospheric piston phase fluctuations.