29 August 2017 The VUV instrument SPICE for Solar Orbiter: performance ground testing
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Abstract
SPICE is an imaging spectrometer operating at vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) wavelengths, 70.4 – 79.0 nm and 97.3 - 104.9 nm. It is a facility instrument on the Solar Orbiter mission, which carries 10 science instruments in all, to make observations of the Sun’s atmosphere and heliosphere, at close proximity to the Sun, i.e to 0.28 A.U. at perihelion. SPICE’s role is to make VUV measurements of plasma in the solar atmosphere. SPICE is designed to achieve spectral imaging at spectral resolution >1500, spatial resolution of several arcsec, and two-dimensional FOV of 11 x16arcmins. The many strong constraints on the instrument design imposed by the mission requirements prevent the imaging performance from exceeding those of previous instruments, but by being closer to the sun there is a gain in spatial resolution. The price which is paid is the harsher environment, particularly thermal. This leads to some novel features in the design, which needed to be proven by ground test programs. These include a dichroic solar-transmitting primary mirror to dump the solar heat, a high in-flight temperature (60deg.C) and gradients in the optics box, and a bespoke variable-line-spacing grating to minimise the number of reflective components used. The tests culminate in the systemlevel test of VUV imaging performance and pointing stability. We will describe how our dedicated facility with heritage from previous solar instruments, is used to make these tests, and show the results, firstly on the Engineering Model of the optics unit, and more recently on the Flight Model. For the keywords, select up to 8 key terms for a search on your manuscript's subject.
Conference Presentation
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Martin E. Caldwell, Nigel Morris, Douglas K. Griffin, Paul Eccleston, Mark Anderson, Carmen Pastor Santos, Davide Bruzzi, Samuel Tustain, Chris Howe, Jenny Davenne, Timothy Grundy, Roisin Speight, Sunil D. Sidher, Alessandra Giunta, Andrzej Fludra, Anne Philippon, Frederic Auchere, Don Hassler, Joseph M. Davila, William T. Thompson, Udo H. Schuehle, Stefan Meining, Buddy Walls, P. Phelan, Greg Dunn, Roman M. Klein, Thomas Reichel, Manfred Gyo, Grant J. Munro, William Holmes, Peter Doyle, "The VUV instrument SPICE for Solar Orbiter: performance ground testing", Proc. SPIE 10397, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XX, 1039708 (29 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2272980; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2272980
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