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Proceedings Paper

Calibration results using highly aberrated images for aligning the JWST instruments to the telescope
Author(s): Koby Z. Smith; D. Scott Acton; Ben B. Gallagher; J. Scott Knight; Bruce H. Dean; Alden S. Jurling; Thomas P. Zielinski
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Paper Abstract

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project is an international collaboration led by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. JWST is NASA’s flagship observatory that will operate nearly a million miles away from Earth at the L2 Lagrange point. JWST’s optical design is a three-mirror anastigmat with four main optical components; 1) the eighteen Primary Mirror Segment Assemblies (PMSA), 2) a single Secondary Mirror Assembly (SMA), 3) an Aft-Optics Subsystem (AOS) consisting of a Tertiary Mirror and Fine Steering Mirror, and 4) an Integrated Science Instrument Module consisting of the various instruments for JWST. JWST’s optical system has been designed to accommodate a significant amount of alignment capability and risk with the PMSAs and SMA having rigid body motion available on-orbit just for alignment purposes. However, the Aft-Optics Subsystem (AOS) and Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) are essentially fixed optical subsystems within JWST, and therefore the cryogenic alignment of the AOS to the ISIM is critical to the optical performance and mission success of JWST.
In support of this cryogenic alignment of the AOS to ISIM, an array of fiber optic sources, known as the AOS Source Plate Assembly (ASPA), are placed near the intermediate image location of JWST (between the secondary and tertiary mirrors) during thermal vacuum ground-test operations. The AOS produces images of the ASPA fiber optic sources at the JWST focal surface location, where they are captured by the various science instruments. In this manner, the AOS provides an optical yardstick by which the instruments within ISIM can evaluate their relative positions to and the alignment of the AOS to ISIM can be quantified. However, since the ASPA is located at the intermediate image location of the JWST three-mirror anastigmat design, the images of these fiber optic sources produced by the AOS are highly aberrated with approximately 2-3μm RMS wavefront error consisting mostly of 3rd-order astigmatism and coma. This is because the elliptical tertiary mirror of the AOS is used off of its ideal foci locations without the compensating wavefront effects of the JWST primary and secondary mirrors. Therefore, the PSFs created are highly asymmetric with relatively complex structure and the centroid and encircled energy analyses traditionally used to locate images are not sufficient for ensuring the AOS to ISIM alignment.
A novel approach combining phase retrieval and spatial metrology was developed to both locate the images with respect to the AOS and provide calibration information for eventual AOS to ISIM alignment verification. During final JWST OTE and ISIM (OTIS) testing, only a single thru-focus image will be collected by the instruments. Therefore, tools and processes were developed to perform single-image phase retrieval on these highly aberrated images such that any single image of the ASPA source can provide calibrated knowledge of the instruments’ position relative to the AOS. This paper discusses the results of the methodology, hardware, and calibration performed to ensure that the AOS and ISIM are aligned within their respective tolerances at JWST OTIS testing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2016
PDF: 20 pages
Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 990442 (29 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232180
Show Author Affiliations
Koby Z. Smith, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
D. Scott Acton, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Ben B. Gallagher, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
J. Scott Knight, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Bruce H. Dean, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Alden S. Jurling, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Thomas P. Zielinski, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


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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