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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

An afocal telescope configuration for the ESA Ariel mission
Author(s): V. Da Deppo; K. Middleton; M. Focardi; G. Morgante; E. Pace; R. Claudi; G. Micela

Paper Abstract

ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey) is one of the three candidates for the next ESA medium-class science mission (M4) expected to be launched in 2026. This mission will be devoted to observing spectroscopically in the infrared (IR) a large population of known transiting planets in the neighborhood of the Solar System, opening a new discovery space in the field of extrasolar planets and enabling the understanding of the physics and chemistry of these far away worlds.

ARIEL is based on a 1-m class telescope ahead of two spectrometer channels covering the band 1.95 to 7.8 microns. In addition there are four photometric channels: two wide band, also used as fine guidance sensors, and two narrow band. During its 3.5 years of operations from L2 orbit, ARIEL will continuously observe exoplanets transiting their host star.

The ARIEL optical design is conceived as a fore-module common afocal telescope that will feed the spectrometer and photometric channels. The telescope optical design is composed of an off-axis portion of a two-mirror classic Cassegrain coupled to a tertiary off-axis paraboloidal mirror. The telescope and optical bench operating temperatures, as well as those of some subsystems, will be monitored and fine tuned/stabilised mainly by means of a thermal control subsystem (TCU-Telescope Control Unit) working in closed-loop feedback and hosted by the main Payload electronics unit, the Instrument Control Unit (ICU). Another important function of the TCU will be to monitor the telescope and optical bench thermistors when the Payload decontamination heaters will be switched on (when operating the instrument in Decontamination Mode) during the Commissioning Phase and cyclically, if required. Then the thermistors data will be sent by the ICU to the On Board Computer by means of a proper formatted telemetry. The latter (OBC) will be in charge of switching on and off the decontamination heaters on the basis of the thermistors readout values.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 September 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10562, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2016, 105624W (25 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2296108
Show Author Affiliations
V. Da Deppo, CNR-IFN Padova (Italy)
INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova (Italy)
K. Middleton, RAL Space-STFC Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
M. Focardi, INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)
G. Morgante, INAF - IASF Bologna (Italy)
E. Pace, Univ. degli Studi di Firenze (Italy)
R. Claudi, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova (Italy)
G. Micela, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10562:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2016
Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas; Zoran Sodnik, Editor(s)

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