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13 December 2020 On the optical alignment of the PLATO cameras
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Abstract
PLATO is an exoplanet hunting mission from the European Space Agency. It is a medium-class mission, with a launch foreseen in 2026. Its prime objective is to uncover Earth-sized planets residing in the habitable zone of their host star. The payload consists of 26 cameras with a very wide field-of-view. While the operational temperature of the cameras will be -80°C, the focal plane of each camera will be integrated with its telescope assembly (bearing the optics) at room temperature. The degradation of the optical quality at ambient, combined with the detector dark current and with the very high accuracy required from the alignment process bring a number of interesting challenges. In the present article, we review the alignment concept, present optical simulations of the measurements at ambient along with their analysis, and present an error budget for the optical measurements. The derivation of this error budget is easily applicable to all optical measurements to be performed during the alignment, i.e. the definition of the best image plane at the operational temperature and the optical alignment itself, at room temperature.
Conference Presentation
© (2020) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
P. Royer, L. Clermont, M. Pertenais, A. Baeke, R. Huygen, J. De Ridder, S. Regibo, M. Dami, B. Vandenbussche, A. Belen Balado Margeli, J. Farinato, D. Greggio, Y. Levillain, D. Magrin, L. Marafatto, M. Pajas, G. Ramos Zapata, A. L. Valverde Guijarro, and V. Viotto "On the optical alignment of the PLATO cameras", Proc. SPIE 11443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 114434Q (13 December 2020); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2560690
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