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Proceedings Paper

Enabling design concepts for a flight-qualifiable optical delay line
Author(s): Robert J. Calvet; Benjamin Joffe; Donald M. Moore; Robert L. Grogan; Gary H. Blackwood
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Paper Abstract

In an interferometer, an Optical Delay Line (ODL) must be able to inject a commanded pathlength change in incoming starlight as it proceeds from a collecting aperture to the beam combiner. Fringe visibility requirements for space interferometry prescribe that the optical path length difference between the two arms must be equal and stable to less than 5 nm RMS to a bandwidth of 1 kHz. For a space mission, an ODL must also operate in a vacuum for years, survive temperature extremes, and survive the launch environment. As part of the interferometer technology program (ITP) at JPL, a prototype ODL was designed and built to meet typical space mission requirements. It has survived environmental testing at flight qualification levels, and control design studies indicate the 5 nm RMS pathlength stability requirements can be met. The design philosophy for this ODL was to crete as many design concepts as possible which would allow a priori attainment of requirements, in order to minimize analysis, testing, and reliance on workmanship. Many of these concepts proved to be synergistic, and many attacked more than one requirement. This paper reviews the science and flight qualification requirements for the ITP ODL and details design concepts used to meet these requirements. Examples of hardware implementations are given, and general applicability to the field of optomechanics will be noted.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 1998
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 3350, Astronomical Interferometry, (24 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317178
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Calvet, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Benjamin Joffe, ITT Communications (United States)
Donald M. Moore, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Robert L. Grogan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Gary H. Blackwood, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3350:
Astronomical Interferometry
Robert D. Reasenberg, Editor(s)

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