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Proceedings Paper

Gaia basic angle monitoring system
Author(s): W. Gielesen; D. de Bruijn; T. van den Dool; F. Kamphues; E. Meijer; B. Calvel; A. Laborie; D. Monteiro; C. Coatantiec; S. Touzeau; M. Erdmann; P. Gare
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Paper Abstract

The Gaia mission will create an extraordinarily precise three-dimensional map of more than one billion stars in our Galaxy. The Gaia spacecraft, built by EADS Astrium, is part of ESA's Cosmic Vision programme and scheduled for launch in 2013. Gaia measures the position, distance and motion of stars with an accuracy of 24 micro-arcsec using two telescopes at a fixed mutual angle of 106.5°, named the ‘Basic Angle’. This accuracy requires ultra-high stability, which can only be achieved by using Silicon Carbide for both the optical bench and the telescopes. TNO has developed, built and space qualified the Silicon carbide Basic Angle Monitoring (BAM) on-board metrology system for this mission. The BAM measures the relative motion of Gaia’s telescopes with accuracies in the range of 0.5 micro-arcsec. This is achieved by a system of two laser interferometers able to measure Optical Path Differences (OPD) as small as 1.5 picometer rms. Following a general introduction to the Gaia mission, the Payload Module (PLM) and the use of Silicon Carbide as base material, this presentation will address an overview of the challenges towards the key requirements, design, integration and testing (including space-level qualification) of the Gaia BAM.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 September 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8442, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 84421R (21 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926322
Show Author Affiliations
W. Gielesen, TNO (Netherlands)
D. de Bruijn, TNO (Netherlands)
T. van den Dool, TNO (Netherlands)
F. Kamphues, TNO (Netherlands)
E. Meijer, TNO (Netherlands)
B. Calvel, EADS Astrium (France)
A. Laborie, EADS Astrium (France)
D. Monteiro, EADS Astrium (France)
C. Coatantiec, EADS Astrium (France)
S. Touzeau, EADS Astrium (France)
M. Erdmann, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
P. Gare, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8442:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Mark C. Clampin; Giovanni G. Fazio; Howard A. MacEwen; Jacobus M. Oschmann, Editor(s)

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