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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Opto-mechanical design for transmission optics in cryogenic space instrumentation

Paper Abstract

NOVA is involved in the development and realization of various optical astronomical instruments for groundbased as well as space telescopes, with a focus on nearand mid-infrared instrumentation. NOVA has developed a suite of scientific instruments with cryogenic optics for the ESO VLT and VLTI instruments: VISIR, MIDI, the SPIFFI 2Kcamera for SINFONI, X-shooter and MATISSE. Other projects include the cryogenic optics for MIRI for the James Webb Space Telescope and several E-ELT instruments.

Mounting optics is always a compromise between firmly fixing the optics and preventing stresses within the optics. The fixing should ensure mechanical stability and thus accurate positioning in various gravity orientations, temperature ranges, during launch, transport or earthquake. On the other hand, the fixings can induce deformations and sometimes birefringence in the optics and thus cause optical errors. Even cracking or breaking of the optics is a risk, especially when using brittle infrared optical materials at the cryogenic temperatures required in instruments for infrared astronomy, where differential expansion of various materials amounts easily to several millimeters per meter. Special kinematic mounts are therefore needed to ensure both accurate positioning and low stress.

This paper concentrates on the opto-mechanical design of optics mountings, especially for large transmission optics in cryogenic circumstances in space instruments. It describes the development of temperature-invariant (“a-thermal”) kinematic designs, their implementation in ground based instrumentation and ways to make them suitable for space instruments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 November 2017
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10564, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2012, 1056426 (20 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2309211
Show Author Affiliations
Gabby Kroes, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Lars Venema, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Ramón Navarro, ASTRON (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10564:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2012
Bruno Cugny; Errico Armandillo; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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