26 February 2003 SIM instrument integration and test challenges: PKT and FAST testbed influence
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Abstract
At first glance the SIM concept seems deceptively simple. After all, its primary task is just to lock two interferometers on to a couple of bright guide stars and let the third integrate photons from a dim 'science' star to gather astrometric data. The difficulty is of course in the details of the performance requirements and overall integration and test risk associated with their verification. The challenge is to provide a meaningful verification of the SIM functionality on the ground that can be extrapolated to show satisfaction of the on-orbit performance requirements. The associated difficulties relate to the ability to provide a reasonable simulation of (1) the space environment with all the implications and (2) the creation of simulated target stars for each interferometer input optics that meet the associated wave front characteristic and star position knowledge requirements. The difficulty and complexity of the simulation of target stars itself is a major development challenge and program risk. In order to reduce this risk early development test beds are created to evolve the optical verification concept and build the actual devices needed for the flight system performance evaluation. The role of the PKT and FAST (Flight System Astrometric Test bed) test beds and their influence on flight integration risk reduction and test process is presented.
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Helmuth Drosdat, Alan L. Duncan, "SIM instrument integration and test challenges: PKT and FAST testbed influence", Proc. SPIE 4852, Interferometry in Space, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460715; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.460715
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