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Proceedings Paper

Thermal stability of a 4 meter primary reflector for the Scanning Microwave Limb Sounder
Author(s): Richard E. Cofield; Eldon P. Kasl
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Paper Abstract

The Scanning Microwave Limb Sounder (SMLS) is a space-borne heterodyne radiometer which will measure pressure, temperature and atmospheric constituents from thermal emission in [180,680] GHz. SMLS, planned for the NRC Decadal Survey's Global Atmospheric Composition Mission, uses a novel toric Cassegrain antenna to perform both elevation and azimuth scanning. These will provide better horizontal and temporal resolution and coverage than were possible with elevation-only scanning in the two previous MLS satellite instruments. SMLS is diffraction-limited in the vertical plane but highly astigmatic in the horizontal (beam aspect ratio ~1:20). Nadir symmetry ensures that beam shape is nearly invariant over ±65° azimuth. A low-noise receiver's FOV will be swept over the reflector system by a small azimuth-scanning mirror. We describe the fabrication and thermalstability test of a composite demonstration primary reflector, having full 4m height and 1/3 the width planned for flight. Using finite-element models of reflectors6 and structure, we evaluate thermal deformations and optical performance for 4 orbital environments and isothermal soak. We compare deformations with photogrammetric measurements made during soak tests in a chamber. The test temperature range exceeds predicted orbital ranges by large factors, implying in-orbit thermal stability of 0.21 micron rms/°C; this meets SMLS requirements.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8153, Earth Observing Systems XVI, 81530Y (13 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.893890
Show Author Affiliations
Richard E. Cofield, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Eldon P. Kasl, Vanguard Space Technologies (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8153:
Earth Observing Systems XVI
James J. Butler; Xiaoxiong Xiong; Xingfa Gu, Editor(s)

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