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Proceedings Paper

Acoustic amplification in the far-infrared focal plane assembly of the composite infrared spectrometer (CIRS) for the Cassini mission to Saturn
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Paper Abstract

The Composite Infrared Spectrometer of the Cassini mission to Saturn has two interferometers covering the far infrared FIR and mid infrared, MIR wavelength region. The FIR is a polarizing Michelson interferometer, which presents a collimated output beam to the FIR focal plane. The focal plane consists of a parabolic focus mirror and an analyzer grid, which splits the output beams into transmitted and components. The two orthogonal polarizations are focussed onto two thermopile detectors, each consisting of a gold black absorber on top of a 100-nanometer thick gold foil welded to the top of two bismuth pyramids. The gold black is 30 microns thick, and the weld area is approximately 5 microns in diameter. The detectors are extremely fragile and the weld can be broken with a minuscule amount of airflow across the surface of the foil. The detectors consistently passed acoustic testing (at the detector level), to qualification levels that simulated the launch environment of the Titan IV launch vehicle. However, they experienced a 50% failure rate when installed in the focal plane assembly during instrument level acoustic tests. A test focal plane was developed with small pressure transducers in the nominal detector locations. These tests indicated over 10 dB of acoustic amplification in the focal plane in the instrument due to the geometry of the focal plane. New techniques were developed to allow testing of the focal plane without over testing the instrument, and modifications were made to the focal plane assembly to successfully attenuate the amplification.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3435, Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments VIII, (17 September 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.323738
Show Author Affiliations
John G. Hagopian, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Julie A. Crooke, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3435:
Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments VIII
James B. Heaney; Lawrence G. Burriesci, Editor(s)

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