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6 July 2018 Thermal architecture of the ESA ARIEL payload
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Abstract
The Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanets Large-survey (ARIEL) is a space project selected by the European Space Agency for the Phase A study in the context of the M4 mission within the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme. ARIEL will probe the chemical and physical properties of a large number of known exoplanets by observing spectroscopically their atmosphere, to extend our knowledge of how planetary systems form and evolve. To achieve its scientific objectives, the mission is designed as a dedicated 3.5-years survey for transit and eclipse spectroscopy, with an instrumental layout based on a 1-m class telescope feeding two spectrometer channels that cover the band 1.95 to 7.8 μm and four photometric channels in the visible to near-IR range.

The high sensitivity requirements of the mission need an extremely stable thermo-mechanical platform. In this paper we describe the thermal architecture of the payload and discuss the main requirements that drive the design. The ARIEL thermal configuration is based on a passive and active cooling approach. Passive cooling is achieved by a V-Groove based design that exploits the L2 orbit favorable thermal conditions. The telescope and the optical bench are passively cooled to a temperature close to 50K to achieve the required sensitivity and stability. The photometric detectors are maintained at the operating temperature of 50K by a dedicated radiator coupled to cold space. The IR spectroscopic channel detectors require a lower temperature reference. This colder stage is provided by an active cooling system based on a Neon Joule-Thomson cold end, fed by a mechanical compressor, able to reach temperatures lower than 30K.

Thermal stability of the telescope and detector units is one of the main drivers of the design. The periodical perturbations due to orbital changes, to the active cooling or to other internal instabilities make the temperature control one of the most critical issues of the whole architecture. The thermal control system design, based on a combination of passive and active solutions aimed at maintaining the required stability at the telescope and detector stages level, is described.

We report here about the baseline thermal architecture at the end of the Phase A, together with the main trade-offs needed to enable the ARIEL exciting science in a technically feasible payload design. Thermal modeling results and preliminary performance predictions in terms of steady state and transient behavior are also discussed.
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
G. Morgante, L. Terenzi, D. D'Ascanio, P. Eccleston, M. Crook, T. Hunt, V. Da Deppo, M. Focardi, G. Malaguti, G. Micela, E. Pace, and G. Tinetti "Thermal architecture of the ESA ARIEL payload", Proc. SPIE 10698, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 106984H (6 July 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2313153
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