A Hosted Arctic Imager (HAI) concept is currently being investigated as part of ESA’s Polaris program. HAI intends to fulfil the needs for providing weather and atmospheric services in the polar regions enabling e.g. near-real-time observations of Atmospheric Motion Vectors of the Arctic and Nordic regions, similar to the measurements offered by its Meteosat counterparts in GEO, such as SEVIRI on MSG and FCI on MTG. The compact hosted-payload multispectral imager operates from a High Elliptical Orbit in 12 spectral bands from 0.4μm to 13.3μm at a Ground Sampling Distance of 1-3km. The optical concepts employs a split design into a wavelength-optimized VIS and a (N)IR telescope, built as all-metal free-form optics, where a hole in the first mirror of the (N)IR telescope presents the entrance aperture of the VIS telescope. Our instrument design maximizes the re-use of heritage technology, e.g. for detectors, scanner, and calibration elements, in order to enable a low-risk fast-track development program.
One of the most challenging open questions of modern astrophysics and particle physics is the determination of the origins and the production mechanisms of the Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECR), i.e. particles with energy above the Greisen–Zatsepin–Kuzmin (GZK) limit, which is about 5×1019 eV.
UHECRs can be studied in two ways: either via direct detection of the secondary particles, i.e. extensive air shower (EAS), produced by UEHRCs interaction with the atmosphere, or by observing during night the track of the UV fluorescence emitted by EAS. The origin direction of the cosmic rays can be therefore determined.
While ground-based observatories are already operative, different optical configurations, based mainly on the Schmidt camera layout or double Fresnel lenses concept, can be envisaged for future space-based ones. Both solutions faced in the past technological issues: transmission and resolution at large field angles for Fresnel lenses and weight of the primary mirror for the Schmidt. However, recent advances in the technology of ultra-lightweight, large and deployable active mirrors made the Schmidt camera approach feasible, becoming the preferred option.
This work describes a lightweight Schmidt space telescope design for UHECRs detection conceived for a mission intended to orbit at 600 km altitude.
The instrument concept is a fast, high-pixelized, large aperture and large Field-of-View (FoV) digital camera, working in the near-UV wavelength range with single photon counting capability. The telescope will record the track of an EAS with a time resolution of 2.5 μs and a spatial resolution of about 0.6 km (corresponding to ~ 4’), thus allowing the determination of energy and direction of the primary particles.
The proposed design has about 50° FoV and a 4.2 m entrance pupil diameter. The mirror is 7.5 m in diameter, it is deployable and segmented to fit the diameter of the considered launcher fairing (i.e. Ariane 6.2). The Schmidt corrector plate is a lightweight annular corona.
This configuration provides a polychromatic angular resolution less than 4' RMS over the whole FoV with a very fast relative aperture, i.e. F/# 0.7. Thanks to its very large pupil and large FoV, the design could be fit for a space-based observatory, thus enhancing the science achievable with respect to the presently operating ground-based counterparts, such as Telescope Array and Auger. A key advantage of this catadioptric design over the classic all refractive adopted in the past is the higher attainable global throughput. This parameter guarantees to reach and fulfil the required instrument photon collection specifications.
The modeling of the scattering phenomena for the multielement telescope for imaging and spectroscopy (METIS) coronagraph on board the European Space Agency Solar Orbiter is reported. METIS is an inverted occultation coronagraph including two optical paths: the broadband imaging of the full corona in linearly polarized visible-light (580 to 640 nm) and the narrow-band imaging of the full corona in the ultraviolet Lyman-α (121.6 nm). METIS will have the unique opportunity of observing the solar outer atmosphere as close to the Sun as 0.28 AU and from up to 35 deg out-of-ecliptic. The stray-light simulations performed on the UV and VL channels of the METIS analyzing the contributors of surface microroughness, particulate contamination, cosmetic defects, and diffraction are reported. The results obtained with the nonsequential modality of Zemax OpticStudio are compared with two different approaches: the Monte Carlo ray trace with Advanced Systems Analysis Program (ASAP®) and a semianalytical model. The results obtained with the three independently developed approaches are in considerable agreement and show compliance to the requirement of stray-light level for both the UV and VL channels.
The paper describes the wavefront error measurements of the concave ellipsoidal mirrors M1 and M2, of the concave spherical mirror M0 and of the flat interferential filter IF of the Metis coronagraph. Metis is an inverted occultation coronagraph on board of the ESA Solar Orbiter mission providing a broad-band imaging of the full corona in linearly polarized visible-light (580 - 640 nm) and a narrow-band imaging of the full corona in the ultraviolet Lyman α (121.6 nm). Metis will observe the solar outer atmosphere from a close distance to the Sun as 0.28 A.U. and from up to 35deg out-of-ecliptic. The measurements of wavefront error of the mirrors and of the interferential filter of Metis have been performed in a ISO5 clean room both at component level and at assembly level minimizing, during the integration, the stress introduced by the mechanical hardware. The wavefront error measurements have been performed with a digital interferometer for mirrors M0, M1 and M2 and with a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor for the interferential filter.
Advanced Astronomy for Heliophysics Plus (ADAHELI+) is a project concept for a small solar and space weather mission with a budget compatible with an European Space Agency (ESA) S-class mission, including launch, and a fast development cycle. ADAHELI+ was submitted to the European Space Agency by a European-wide consortium of solar physics research institutes in response to the “Call for a small mission opportunity for a launch in 2017,” of March 9, 2012. The ADAHELI+ project builds on the heritage of the former ADAHELI mission, which had successfully completed its phase-A study under the Italian Space Agency 2007 Small Mission Programme, thus proving the soundness and feasibility of its innovative low-budget design. ADAHELI+ is a solar space mission with two main instruments: ISODY+: an imager, based on Fabry–Pérot interferometers, whose design is optimized to the acquisition of highest cadence, long-duration, multiline spectropolarimetric images in the visible/near-infrared region of the solar spectrum. XSPO: an x-ray polarimeter for solar flares in x-rays with energies in the 15 to 35 keV range. ADAHELI+ is capable of performing observations that cannot be addressed by other currently planned solar space missions, due to their limited telemetry, or by ground-based facilities, due to the problematic effect of the terrestrial atmosphere.
The METIS coronagraph on board the Solar Orbiter mission will have the unique opportunity of observing the solar outer atmosphere as close to the Sun as 0.28 A.U., and from up to 35° out-of-ecliptic. The telescope design of the METIS coronagraph includes two optical paths: i) broad-band imaging of the full corona in linearly polarized visible-light (VL: 580-640 nm), ii) narrow-band imaging of the full corona in the ultraviolet (UV) Lyman α (121.6 nm). This paper describes the stray-light analyses performed on the UV and VL channels of the METIS Telescope with the nonsequential modality of Zemax OpticStudio. A detailed opto-mechanical model of the METIS Telescope is simulated by placing the CAD parts of all the sub-assemblies at the nominal position. Each surface, mechanical and optical, is provided with a modelled coating and BSDF reproducing the optical and the diffusing properties. The geometric model allows for the verification of the correct functioning of the blocking elements inside the telescope and for an evaluation of the stray-light level due to surface roughness. The diffraction off the inner edge of the IEO on the plane of the IO is modelled separately from the contributor of the surface micro-roughness. The contributors due to particle contamination and cosmetic defects are also analysed. The results obtained are merged together and compared to the requirements of stray-light. The results of this analysis together with those from two different analyses based on a Montecarlo ray-trace and a semi-analytical model are consistent with each other and indicate that the METIS design meets the stray-light level requirements
The presented paper shows results and a comparison of FEM numerical simulations and optical tests of the assembly of a precise Zerodur mirror with a mounting structure for space applications. It also shows how the curing of adhesive film can impact the optical surface, especially as regards deformations. Finally, the paper shows the results of the figure quality analysis, which are based on data from FEM simulation of optical surface deformations.
The use of high-resolution imagers for determination of solar-induced fluorescence of natural bodies by observing the infilling
of Fraunhofer lines has been frequently adopted as a tool for vegetation characterization. The option to perform
those measurements from airborne platforms was addressed in the past. In-field observations gave evidence of the main
requirements for an imaging spectrometer to be used for Sun-induced fluorescence measurements such as high spectral
resolution and fine radiometric accuracy needed to resolve the shape of observed Fraunhofer lines with a high level of
accuracy. In this paper, some solutions for the design of a high spectral resolution push-broom imaging spectrometer for
Sun-induced fluorescence measurements are analysed. The main constraints for the optical design are a spectral
resolution better than 0.01 nm and a wide field of view. Due to the fine instrumental spectral resolution, bidimensional
focal plane arrays characterized by high quantum efficiency, low read-out noise, and high sensitivity are requested. The
development of a lightweight instrument is a benefit for aerospace implementations of this technology. First results
coming from laboratory measurements and optical simulations are presented and discussed taking into account their
GIANO is a cryogenic cross-dispersed spectrometer operating at near IR wavelengths (0.9-2.5 microns). The aim of the optical design is to obtain wide spectral coverage, high resolution, large throughput and high spectral stability in a sufficiently compact instrument which can be built and cooled using relatively simple and inexpensive technologies. This ambitious goal is achieved using a 3-mirrors anastigmat in double-pass which acts both as collimator and camera. The collimated beam has a diameter of 100 mm and feeds a commercial 23.2 lines/mm echelle grating. Cross-dispersion is performed by prisms which also operate in double pass. By inserting a flat mirror before the grating, the instrument changes its face (hence the name "GIANO") and transforms into a low resolution spectrometer with a unique combination of spectral coverage, resolution and efficiency.