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Proceedings Paper

The shadow position sensors (SPS) formation flying metrology subsystem for the ESA PROBA-3 mission: present status and future developments
Author(s): M. Focardi; V. Noce; S. Buckley; K. O'Neill; A. Bemporad; S. Fineschi; M. Pancrazzi; F. Landini; C. Baccani; G. Capobianco; D. Loreggia; M. Casti; M. Romoli; G. Massone; G. Nicolini; L. Accatino; C. Thizy; J. S. Servaye; I. Mechmech; E. Renotte
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Paper Abstract

PROBA-3 [1] [2] is a Mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) composed of two formation-flying satellites, planned for their joint launch by the end of 2018. Its main purposes have a dual nature: scientific and technological. In particular, it is designed to observe and study the inner part of the visible solar corona, thanks to a dedicated coronagraph called ASPIICS (Association of Spacecraft for Polarimetric and Imaging Investigation of the Corona of the Sun), and to demonstrate the in-orbit formation flying (FF) and attitude control capability of its two satellites. The Coronagraph payload on-board PROBA-3 consists of the following parts: the Coronagraph Instrument (CI) with the Shadow Position Sensor (SPS) on the Coronagraph Spacecraft (CSC), the Occulter Position Sensor (OPSE) [3] [4] and the External Occulting (EO) disk on the Occulter Spacecraft (OSC). The SPS subsystem [5] is one of the main metrological devices of the Mission, adopted to control and to maintain the relative (i.e. between the two satellites) and absolute (i.e. with respect to the Sun) FF attitude. It is composed of eight micro arrays of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) [6] that shall be able to measure, with the required sensitivity and dynamic range as asked by ESA, the penumbral light intensity on the Coronagraph entrance pupil. With the present paper we describe the testing activities on the SPS breadboard (BB) and Development Model (DM) as well as the present status and future developments of this PROBA-3 metrological subsystem.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2016
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 99044Z (29 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231699
Show Author Affiliations
M. Focardi, INAF - OAA Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
V. Noce, INAF - OAA Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
S. Buckley, SensL (Ireland)
K. O'Neill, SensL (Ireland)
A. Bemporad, INAF - OATo Turin Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
S. Fineschi, INAF - OATo Turin Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
M. Pancrazzi, INAF - OAA Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
F. Landini, INAF - OAA Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
C. Baccani, Univ. of Florence (Italy)
G. Capobianco, INAF - OATo Turin Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
D. Loreggia, INAF - OATo Turin Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
M. Casti, ALTEC - Advanced Logistics Technology Engineering Ctr. (Italy)
M. Romoli, Univ. of Florence (Italy)
G. Massone, INAF - OATo Turin Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
G. Nicolini, INAF - OATo Turin Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
L. Accatino, AC Consulting (Italy)
C. Thizy, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
J. S. Servaye, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
I. Mechmech, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
E. Renotte, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9904:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Howard A. MacEwen; Giovanni G. Fazio; Makenzie Lystrup; Natalie Batalha; Nicholas Siegler; Edward C. Tong, Editor(s)

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