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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Batman flies: a compact spectro-imager for space observation
Author(s): Frederic Zamkotsian; Olivier Ilbert; Julien Zoubian; Audrey Delsanti; Samuel Boissier; Ariane Lancon

Paper Abstract

Multi-object spectroscopy (MOS) is a key technique for large field of view surveys. MOEMS programmable slit masks could be next-generation devices for selecting objects in future infrared astronomical instrumentation for space telescopes. MOS is used extensively to investigate astronomical objects by optimizing the Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): high precision spectra are obtained and the problem of spectral confusion and background level occurring in slitless spectroscopy is cancelled. Fainter limiting fluxes are reached and the scientific return is maximized both in cosmology and in legacy science. Major telescopes around the world are equipped with MOS in order to simultaneously record several hundred spectra in a single observation run. Next generation MOS for space like the Near Infrared Multi-Object Spectrograph (NIRSpec) for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) require a programmable multi-slit mask. Conventional masks or complex fiber-optics-based mechanisms are not attractive for space. The programmable multi-slit mask requires remote control of the multislit configuration in real time. During the early-phase studies of the European Space Agency (ESA) EUCLID mission, a MOS instrument based on a MOEMS device has been assessed. Due to complexity and cost reasons, slitless spectroscopy was chosen for EUCLID, despite a much higher efficiency with slit spectroscopy.

A promising possible solution is the use of MOEMS devices such as micromirror arrays (MMA) [1,2,3] or micro-shutter arrays (MSA) [4]. MMAs are designed for generating reflecting slits, while MSAs generate transmissive slits. In Europe an effort is currently under way to develop single-crystalline silicon micromirror arrays for future generation infrared multi-object spectroscopy (collaboration LAM / EPFL-CSEM) [5,6]. By placing the programmable slit mask in the focal plane of the telescope, the light from selected objects is directed toward the spectrograph, while the light from other objects and from the sky background is blocked. To get more than 2 millions independent micromirrors, the only available component is a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) chip from Texas Instruments (TI) that features 2048 x 1080 mirrors and a 13.68μm pixel pitch. DMDs have been tested in space environment (-40°C, vacuum, radiations) by LAM and no showstopper has been revealed [7].

We are presenting in this paper a DMD-based spectrograph called BATMAN, including two arms, one spectroscopic channel and one imaging channel. This instrument is designed for getting breakthrough results in several science cases, from high-z galaxies to nearby galaxies and Trans-Neptunian Objects of Kuiper Belt.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 November 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10563, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014, 105634N (17 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2304262
Show Author Affiliations
Frederic Zamkotsian, LAM-CNRS (France)
Olivier Ilbert, LAM-CNRS (France)
Julien Zoubian, CPPM (France)
Audrey Delsanti, LAM-CNRS (France)
Samuel Boissier, LAM-CNRS (France)
Ariane Lancon, Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10563:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014
Zoran Sodnik; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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