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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Development of optical ground verification method for um to sub-mm reflectors
Author(s): Y. Stockman; C. Thizy; P. Lemaire; M. Georges; E. Mazy; A. Mazzoli; Y. Houbrechts; P. Rochus; S. Roose; D. Doyle; G. Ulbrich

Paper Abstract

Large reflectors and antennas for the IR to mm wavelength range are being planned for many Earth observation and astronomical space missions and for commercial communication satellites as well. Scientific observatories require large telescopes with precisely shaped reflectors for collecting the electro-magnetic radiation from faint sources. The challenging tasks of on-ground testing are to achieve the required accuracy in the measurement of the reflector shapes and antenna structures and to verify their performance under simulated space conditions (vacuum, low temperatures). Due to the specific surface characteristics of reflectors operating in these spectral regions, standard optical metrology methods employed in the visible spectrum do not provide useful measurement results.

The current state-of-the-art commercial metrology systems are not able to measure these types of reflectors because they have to face the measurement of shape and waviness over relatively large areas with a large deformation dynamic range and encompassing a wide range of spatial frequencies. 3-D metrology (tactile coordinate measurement) machines are generally used during the manufacturing process. Unfortunately, these instruments cannot be used in the operational environmental conditions of the reflector.

The application of standard visible wavelength interferometric methods is very limited or impossible due to the large relative surface roughnesses involved. A small number of infrared interferometers have been commercially developed over the last 10 years but their applications have also been limited due to poor dynamic range and the restricted spatial resolution of their detectors. These restrictions affect also the surface error slopes that can be captured and makes their application to surfaces manufactured using CRFP honeycomb technologies rather difficult or impossible.

It has therefore been considered essential, from the viewpoint of supporting future ESA exploration missions, to develop and realise suitable verification tools based on infrared interferometry and other optical techniques for testing large reflector structures, telescope configurations and their performances under simulated space conditions.

Two methods and techniques are developed at CSL.

The first one is an IR-phase shifting interferometer with high spatial resolution. This interferometer shall be used specifically for the verification of high precision IR, FIR and sub-mm reflector surfaces and telescopes under both ambient and thermal vacuum conditions.

The second one presented hereafter is a holographic method for relative shape measurement. The holographic solution proposed makes use of a home built vacuum compatible holographic camera that allows displacement measurements from typically 20 nanometres to 25 microns in one shot. An iterative process allows the measurement of a total of up to several mm of deformation. Uniquely the system is designed to measure both specular and diffuse surfaces.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 2017
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10568, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2004, 105681K (21 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2307965
Show Author Affiliations
Y. Stockman, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
C. Thizy, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
P. Lemaire, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
M. Georges, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
E. Mazy, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
A. Mazzoli, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
Y. Houbrechts, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
P. Rochus, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
S. Roose, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
D. Doyle, ESTEC-European Space Agency (Netherlands)
G. Ulbrich, ESTEC-European Space Agency (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10568:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2004
Josiane Costeraste; Errico Armandillo, Editor(s)

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