MPE-built optical assembly fully integrated on EUCLID-NISP

December 21, 2018
Last week at LAM Marseille, the optical assembly consisting of the camera lens assembly “CaLA” and the corrector lens assembly “CoLA” have been fully integrated on the near-infrared optics NISP for the Euclid satellite. Euclid is an ESA mission, planned to launch in 2022 to study the “Dark Universe”. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics are responsible for the overall optical design of the near-infrared instrument NISP NI-OA.

The integration of CaLA and CoLA made use of a combination of interferometric alignment and information from a coordinate measuring machine. The interferometric alignment utilises computer generated holograms but the MPE team nevertheless needed to develop a method to add information from a coordinate measuring machine be able to align the two major optical system components with a precision of better than 9 micrometres (a fraction of a human hair) and 7 arc-seconds.

LAM Marseille and ESA officials noted that the work of the NI-OA team was excellent in preparing the optical assembly. While the hardware work of the team at MPE is now completed for NISP, the team’s focus will turn to supporting test activities for the whole system system as well as preparing the as-built optical models that will be used to verify the spacecraft’s performance during the commissioning phase in late 2022.

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