The Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) mission is to be launched into orbit around the second Lagrangian point (L2) in the Sun-Earth system. Taking advantage of the thermal environment in L2, a 2.5m-class large IR telescope is cooled below 8K in combination with effective radiant cooling and a mechanical cooling system. SPICA adopts a cryogen-free system to prevent the mission operation lifetime being limited by the amount of cryogen as a refrigerant. Currently, the mechanical cooler system with the feasible solution giving a proper margin is proposed. As a baseline design, 4K / 1K-class Joule-Thomson coolers are used to cool the telescope and thermal interface for Focal Plane Instruments (FPIs). Additionally, two sets of double stage stirling coolers (2STs) are used to cool the telescope shield. In this design, nominal operation of FPIs can be kept when one mechanical cooler is in failure. In this paper, current baseline configuration of the mechanical cooler system and current status of mechanical coolers developments which need to satisfy the specific requirements of SPICA cryogenic system are presented.
We present an overview of the cryogenic system of the next-generation infrared observatory mission SPICA. One of the most critical requirements for the SPICA mission is to cool the whole science equipment, including the 2.5 m telescope, to below 8 K to reduce the thermal background and enable unprecedented sensitivity in the mid- and far-infrared region. Another requirement is to cool focal plane instruments to achieve superior sensitivity. We adopt the combination of effective radiative cooling and mechanical cryocoolers to accomplish the thermal requirements for SPICA. The radiative cooling system, which consists of a series of radiative shields, is designed to accommodate the telescope in the vertical configuration. We present thermal model analysis results that comply with the requirements to cool the telescope and focal plane instruments.
We present an overview of the thermal and mechanical design of the Payload Module (PLM) of the next- generation infrared astronomy mission Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA). The primary design goal of PLM is to cool the whole science assembly including a 2.5 m telescope and focal-plane instruments below 8 K. SPICA is thereby expected to have very low background conditions so that it can achieve unprecedented sensitivity in the mid- and far-infrared. PLM also provides the instruments with the 4.8 K and 1.8 K stages to cool their detectors. The SPICA cryogenic system combines passive, effective radiative cooling by multiple thermal shields and active cooling by a series of mechanical cryocoolers. The mechanical cryocoolers are required to provide 40 mW cooling power at 4.8 K and 10 mW at 1.8 K at End-of-Life (EoL). End-to-end performance of the SPICA cryocooler-chain from 300 K to 50 mK was demonstrated under the framework of the ESA CryoChain Core Technology Program (CC-CTP). In this paper, we focus on the recent progress of the thermal and mechanical design of SPICA PLM which is based on the SPICA mission proposal to ESA.
WISH, Wide-field Imaging Surveyor for High-redshiftt, is a space mission concept to conduct very deep and widefield
surveys at near infrared wavelength at 1-5μm to study the properties of galaxies at very high redshift beyond the
epoch of cosmic reionization. The concept has been developed and studied since 2008 to be proposed for future
JAXA/ISAS mission. WISH has a 1.5m-diameter primary mirror and a wide-field imager covering 850 arcmin2. The
pixel scale is 0.155 arcsec for 18μm pitch, which properly samples the diffraction-limited image at 1.5μm. The main
program is Ultra Deep Survey (UDS) covering 100 deg2 down to 28AB mag at least in five broad bands. We expect to
detect <104 galaxies at z=8-9, 103-104 galaxies at z=11-12, and 50-100 galaxies at z<14, many of which can be feasible
targets for deep spectroscopy with Extremely Large Telescopes. With recurrent deep observations, detection and light
curve monitoring for type-Ia SNe in rest-frame infrared wavelength is also conducted, which is another main science
goal of the mission. During the in-orbit 5 years observations, we expect to detect and monitor <2000 type-Ia SNe up to
z~2. WISH also conducts Ultra Wide Survey, covering 1000deg2 down to 24-25AB mag as well as Extreme Survey,
covering a limited number of fields of view down to 29-30AB mag. We here report the progress of the WISH project
including the basic telescope and satellite design as well as the results of the test for a proto-model of the flip-type filter
exchanger which works robustly near 100K.
WISH is a new space science mission concept whose primary goal is to study the first galaxies in the early universe.
We will launch a 1.5m telescope equipped with 1000 arcmin2 wide-field NIR camera by late 2010's in order to conduct
unique ultra-deep and wide-area sky surveys at 1-5 micron. The primary science goal of WISH mission is pushing the
high-redshift frontier beyond the epoch of reionization by utilizing its unique imaging capability and the dedicated
survey strategy. We expect to detect ~104 galaxies at z=8-9, ~3-6x103 galaxies at z=11-12, and ~50-100 galaxies at
z=14-17 within about 5 years of the planned mission life time. It is worth mentioning that a large fraction of these
objects may be bright enough for the spectroscopic observations with the extremely large telescopes. By adopting the optimized strategy for the recurrent observations to reach the depth, we also use the surveys to detect transient objects.
Type Ia Supernova cosmology is thus another important primary goal of WISH. A unique optical layout has been
developed to achieve the diffraction-limited imaging at 1-5micron over the required large area. Cooling the mirror and
telescope to ~100K is needed to achieve the zodiacal light limited imaging and WISH will achieve the required
temperature by passive cooling in the stable thermal environment at the orbit near Sun-Earth L2. We are conducting the
conceptual studies and development for the important components of WISH including the exchange mechanism for the
wide-field filters as well as the primary mirror fixation.
We started adaptive optics (AO) development activities in Tohoku university targeting Multi-Object Adaptive
Optics (MOAO) system for the next generation ground-based large telescopes. In order to realize an MOAO
system, we are currently conducting two R&Ds. First one is a development of a large stroke (20μm) Micro Electro
Mechanical Systems (MEMS) deformable mirror with large number of elements (>3000) which is necessary to
achieve mild Strehl Ratio in an AO systems for 30m class telescopes. Based on our original design to achieve
the requirements, prototyping of the device is currently underway using the MEMS development facility in our
university. Second one is a consideration of tomographic algorithm for the wavefront estimation required for
an MOAO system. The algorithm will be tested on a test bench simulating multiple guide stars and wavefront
sensors. Concept design of the test bench is shown. MEMS-DM and MOAO testbed developments will be
concluded by 2013.
An infrared instrument used for observation has to keep the detector and optical components in a very cold environment
during operation. However, because of maintenance, upgrades, and other routine work, there are situations that require
the instrument to be warmed-up and then cooled-down again. At Subaru Observatory, our MOIRCS infrared instrument
has required warm-up and cool-down several times a year for routine maintenance and filter replacement. The MOIRCS
instrument has a large heat capacity and cool-down using only the closed cycle cooler is impractical due to the huge
amount of time it would require. To address this problem Subaru engineers have created a mechanism to allow PRE-COOLING
of the instrument via liquid nitrogen - allowing for a much faster pre-cool process. Even with liquid nitrogen,
the pre-cool process requires 10 tanks and almost a week of continual monitoring in order to reach the desired target
temperature. It is very difficult to work for such a long period of time at the oxygen starved summit of Mauna Kea (4205
meters),and issues of man-power and scheduling conflicts only add to the problems. To address these concerns Subaru
developed an automated pre-cooling system which works continuously and remotely at the summit. The strategy was to
have basic functionality for pre-cooling and user friendly interface. i.e. (1) Continuous cooling until the target
temperature is reached by automated liquid nitrogen tank exchanges and precision temperature control by automated
changes to the liquid nitrogen flow. (2) Remote monitoring and control of all parameter setting by Web browser as user
interface (UI). The goal of the Subaru pre-cooling system was to make it both inexpensive and quick to implement by
using existing technologies. The original goal (to cut down on labor and precision temperature control) has been attained
through several pre-cooling and software/hardware modification cycles. We will report on the progress and status of our
pre-cooling experiences in this presentation.
The design, development, operation and current performance of MOS (multi-object spectroscopy) mode of MOIRCS is described. MOIRCS (Multi-Object Infrared Camera and Spectrograph) is one of the second-generation instruments for the Subaru Telescope and provides imaging and MOS modes with a 4' × 7' field of view for a wavelength range from 0.85 to 2.5 μm. To achieve near-infrared (NIR) MOS up to K-band, MOS mode uses multi-slit masks and a mask exchange system in a cryogenic environment. The masks are housed in a vacuum dewar attached to the MOIRCS main dewar and separated by a large gate valve. The mask dewar is equipped with its own cryogenic cooler and a vacuum pump and is capable of storing eighteen masks. The masks are made of thin aluminum foil. Slits are cut with a laser, with software that corrects for the effects of thermal contraction. The masks are cooled to below 130 K in the mask dewar and transported to the focal plane in the main dewar through the gate valve with a linear motion manipulator. An interlock is equipped on the mask exchange system to secure the cryogenic instrument from accident. Replacing masks can be done in the daytime without breaking the vacuum of the main dewar by isolating the mask dewar with the gate valve. Acquisition occurs by iteratively taking on-sky images through alignment holes on the mask until the rotation and offset between alignment stars and alignment holes become small enough. MOIRCS/MOS mode will be open to the public in late 2006.
MOIRCS is a new Cassegrain instrument of Subaru telescope, dedicated for wide field imaging and multi-object spectroscopy in near-infrared. MOIRCS has been constructed jointly by Tohoku University and the Subaru Telescope and saw the first light in Sept., 2004. The commissioning observations to study both imaging and spectroscopic performance were conducted for about one year. MOIRCS mounts two 2048 × 2048 HAWAII2 arrays and provides a field of view of 4' x 7' with a pixel scale of 0."117. All-lens optical design is optimized for 0.8 to 2.5 μm with no practical chromatic aberration. Observations confirm the high image quality over the field of view without any perceptible degradation even at the field edge. The best seeing we have obtained so far is FWHM=0."18. A novel design of MOIRCS enables us to perform multi-object spectroscopy with aluminum slit masks, which are housed in a carrousel dewar and cooled to ~ 110 K. When choosing MOS mode, a manipulator pulls out a slit mask from the carrousel into the MOIRCS main dewar and sets it properly at the Cassegrain focus. The carrousel is shuttered by a gate valve, so that it can be warmed and cooled independently to exchange slit-mask sets during daytime. We have tested various configurations of 30 or more multi-slit positions in various sky fields and found that targets are dropped at the centers of slits or guide holes within a dispersion of about 0.3 pixels (0."03). MOIRCS has been open to common use specifically for imaging observations since Feb. 2006. The MOS function will be available in next August.
MOIRCS (Multi-Object Infrared Camera and Spectrograph) is a new instrument for the Subaru telescope. In order to perform observations of near-infrared imaging and spectroscopy with cold slit mask, MOIRCS contains many device components, which are distributed on an Ethernet LAN. Two PCs wired to the focal plane array electronics operate two HAWAII2 detectors, respectively, and other two PCs are used for integrated control and quick data reduction, respectively. Though most of the devices (e.g., filter and grism turrets, slit exchange mechanism for spectroscopy) are controlled via RS232C interface, they are accessible from TCP/IP connection using TCP/IP to RS232C converters. Moreover, other devices are also connected to the Ethernet LAN. This network distributed structure provides flexibility of hardware configuration. We have constructed an integrated control system for such network distributed hardwares, named T-LECS (Tohoku University - Layered Electronic Control System). T-LECS has also network distributed software design, applying TCP/IP socket communication to interprocess communication. In order to help the communication between the device interfaces and the user interfaces, we defined three layers in T-LECS; an external layer for user interface applications, an internal layer for device interface applications, and a communication layer, which connects two layers above. In the communication layer, we store the data of the system to an SQL database server; they are status data, FITS header data, and also meta data such as device configuration data and FITS configuration data. We present our software system design and the database schema to manage observations of MOIRCS with Subaru.
MOIRCS (Multi-Object InfraRed Camera and Spectrograph) is one of the second generation instruments for the Subaru Telescope. This instrument is under construction by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Tohoku University. It has imaging and multi-object spectroscopy (MOS) capabilities in the wavelength range from 0.85 μm to 2.5 μm with 4' x 7' F.O.V. The focal plane is imaged onto two 2048 x 2048 pixel HAWAII-2 HgCdTe arrays with a pixel scale of 0."12 pixel-1 through two independent optical trains. The optical design is optimized to maximize K band performance. Unique design of MOIRCS allows multi-object spectroscopy out to K band with cooled multi-slit masks. Twenty-four masks are stored in a mask dewar and are exchanged in the cryogenic environment. The mask dewar has its own vacuum pump and cryogenic cooler, and the masks can be assessed without breaking the vacuum of the main dewar. The two-channel optics and arrays are mounted back-to-back of a single optical bench plate. A PC-Linux based infrared array control system has been prepared to operate HAWAII-2. The first light of MOIRCS is planned in the spring of 2003.
TUFPAC (Tohoku University Focal Plane Array Controller) is an array control system originally designed for flexible control and efficient data acquisition of 2048 x 2048 HgCdTe (HAWAII-2) array. A personal computer operated by Linux OS controls mosaic HAWAII-2s with commercially available DSP boards installed on the PCI bus. Triggered by PC, DSP sends clock data to front-end electronics, which is isolated from the DSP board by photo-couplers. Front-end electronics supply powers, biases and clock signals to HAWAII2. Pixel data are read from four outputs of each HAWAII2 simultaneously by way of four channel preamps and ADCs. Pixel data converted to 16 bit digital data are stored in the frame memory on the DSP board.
Data are processed in the memory when necessary. PC receives the frame data and stores it in the hard disk of PC in FITS format. A set of the DSP board and front-end electronics is responsible for controlling each HAWAII-2. One PC can operate eight mosaic arrays at most. TUFPAC is applicable to the control of CCDs with minor changes of front-end electronics.
We describe an optical design process and image performance evaluations for Multi-Object near-InfraRed Camera and Spectrograph (MOIRCS). MOIRCS is a near-infrared imager and multi-object spectrograph under construction for the Subaru Telescope. MOIRCS provides direct imaging of 4' x 7' F.O.V. with a pixel scale of 0.12". MOIRCS also provides low-resolution multi-object spectroscopy with grisms and cooled multi-slit masks on the Cassegrain focal plane. CaF2, BaF2, ZnSe, and Fused Silica are used as the lens materials. They have high transmission in the near-infrared wavelength. During the design process, we find that a triplet with an achromatic doublet and a ZnSe singlet shows good performance for chromatic aberration. Therefore, we design our optics on the basis of the triplet with ZnSe. The designed optics shows good performances. Ensquared energy within 2 pixel square is more than 85% over the entire wavelength range and F.O.V. We do not need refocusing with the change of observed wavelengths because chromatic aberration is as small as 100 μm by the triplet with ZnSe over the entire wavelength range from 0.85 to 2.5 μm. Lateral chromatic aberration of 15 μm is less than 1 pixel size. Detailed tolerance analysis is done with possible manufacturing and aligning errors considered. The result shows that designed performances will be kept with a probability of 80% with reasonable tolerances. Ghost analysis is also done over entire F.O.V. and we find a ghost image of 13 magnitude fainter than original image that is not significant for our purpose. Therefore, we conclude that we can obtain enough performances with designed optics.
We report on the results of the performance tests of the HAWAII-2 FPAs for Multi-Object Infra-Red Camera and Spectrograph (MOIRCS). MOIRCS provides wide-field imaging mode (4'x7' F.O.V.) and multi-object spectroscopy mode for the wavelength range from 0.85 to 2.5 μm. To achieve the wide field-of-view with the high angular resolution, we use two 2048 x 2048 HgCdTe FPAs, HAWAII-2. We have made performance tests of both the engineering-grade and the science-grade HAWAII-2 arrays. Array performances such as stability of bias frames, read noise and dark current are evaluated at the operating temperature of 78K. In addition, we search for the optimum well depth, readout speed by changing bias voltages. We have finished tests of the engineering-grade array and the performance of our science-grade arrays is under investigation.
We use the HAWAII-2 (2048 × 2048 HgCdTe) FPAs in MOIRCS (Multi-Object Infra-Red Camera and Spectrograph) for the astronomical use on the Subaru telescope. MOIRCS, which is currently being constructed by Tohoku University and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, is one of the second generation instruments for Subaru. It will provide the wide-field imaging mode (4 × 7 arcmin2) and the multi-object spectroscopy mode with the wavelength range of 0.8 to 2.5 μm.
To achieve the large field of view with the high spatial resolution, we use two large-format near-infrared arrays, HAWAII-2. We have developed an infrared array control system specially designed for flexible control and efficient data acquisition of the HAWAII-2 arrays. The array control system, TUFPAC, consists of a personal computer operated by LINUX OS and commercially available DSP boards. By using TUFPAC and the cryostat for array tests, we have made tests of the HAWAII-2 array. In this paper, we report on our array control system and the results of various performance tests for the HAWAII-2 array.