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Proceedings Paper

Mechanical blind gap measurement tool for alignment of the JWST Optical Telescope Element
Author(s): Till Liepmann
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes a novel gap gauge tool that is used to provide an independent check of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Optical Telescope Element (OTE) primary mirror alignment. Making accurate measurements of the mechanical gaps between the OTE mirror segments is needed to verify that the segments were properly aligned relative to each other throughout the integration and test of the 6.6 meter telescope. The gap between the Primary Mirror Segment Assemblies (PMSA) is a sensitive indicator of the relative clocking and decenter. Further, the gap measurements are completely independent of all the other measurements use in the alignment process (e.g. laser trackers and laser radar). The gap measurement is a challenge, however, that required a new approach. Commercial gap measurements tools were investigated; however no suitable solution is available. The challenge of this measurement is due to the required 0.1 mm accuracy, the close spacing of the mirrors segments (approximately 3-9mm), the acute angle between the segment sides (approximately 4 degrees), and the difficult access to the blind gap. Several techniques were considered and tested before selecting the gauge presented here. This paper presents the theory, construction and calibration of the JWST gap gauge that is being used to measure and verify alignment of the OTE primary mirror segments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 2016
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9951, Optical System Alignment, Tolerancing, and Verification X, 99510G (27 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2238576
Show Author Affiliations
Till Liepmann, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9951:
Optical System Alignment, Tolerancing, and Verification X
José Sasián; Richard N. Youngworth, Editor(s)

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Mechanical blind gap measurement tool for alignment of the JWST Optical Telescope Element



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