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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Space evaluation of a MOEMs device for space instrumentation
Author(s): Frederic Zamkotsian; Kyrre Tangen; Patrick Lanzoni; Emmanuel Grassi; Rudy Barette; Christophe Fabron; Luca Valenziano; Laurent Marchand; Ludovic Duvet

Paper Abstract

Large field of view surveys with a high density of objects such as high-z galaxies or stars benefit of multi-object spectroscopy (MOS) technique. This technique is the best approach to eliminate the problem of spectral confusion, to optimize the quality and the SNR of the spectra, to reach fainter limiting fluxes and to maximize the scientific return. Next generation MOS for space like the Near Infrared Multi-Object Spectrograph (NIRSpec) for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) require a programmable multi-slit mask. The European EUCLID mission has also considered a MOS instrument in its early study phase. Conventional masks or complex fiber-optics-based mechanisms are not attractive for space. The programmable multi-slit mask requires remote control of the multi-slit configuration in real time. A promising possible solution is the use of MOEMS devices such as micromirror arrays (MMA) [1,2,3] or micro-shutter arrays (MSA) [4]. MMAs are designed for generating reflecting slits, while MSAs generate transmissive slits. MSA has been selected to be the multi-slit device for NIRSpec and is under development at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. In Europe, an effort is currently under way to develop single-crystalline silicon micromirror arrays for future generation infrared multi-object spectroscopy [5]. By placing the programmable slit mask in the focal plane of the telescope, the light from selected objects is directed toward the spectrograph, while the light from other objects and from the sky background is blocked.

Visitech is an engineering company experienced in developing DMD solution for industrial customers. The Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM) has, over several years, developed different tools for modeling and characterization of MOEMS-based slit masks, especially during the design studies on JWSTNIRSpec [6,7]. ESA has engaged with Visitech and LAM in a technical assessment of using a Digital Micromirror Devices (DMD) from Texas Instruments for space applications (for example in ESA EUCLID mission). The DMD features 2048 x 1080 mirrors on a 13.68μm mirror pitch (left-hand side of Fig. 1). Typical operational parameters of this device are room temperature, atmospheric pressure and mirrors switching thousands of times in a second, while for MOS applications in space, the device should work in vacuum, at low temperature, and each MOS exposure would last for typically 1500s with micromirrors held in a static state (either ON or OFF) during that duration. A specific thermal / vacuum test chamber has been developed for test conditions down to -40°C at 10-5 mbar vacuum. Imaging capability for resolving each micro-mirror has also been developed for determining any single mirror failure. Dedicated electronics and software allows us to hold any pattern on the DMD for duration of up to 1500s.

We present the summary of this ESA study, the electronic test vehicle as well as the cold temperature test set-up we have developed. Then, results of tests in vacuum at low temperature, including low temperature stress test, low temperature nominal test, thermal cycling, and life test are presented. Results after radiation (TID and proton), and vibration and shock are also shown.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 November 2017
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10565, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2010, 1056521 (20 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2309205
Show Author Affiliations
Frederic Zamkotsian, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille, CNRS (France)
Kyrre Tangen, Visitech (Norway)
Patrick Lanzoni, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
Emmanuel Grassi, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
Rudy Barette, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
Christophe Fabron, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
Luca Valenziano, INAF - IASF Bologna (Italy)
Laurent Marchand, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Ludovic Duvet, European Space Agency (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10565:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2010
Errico Armandillo; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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