10 September 2009 Lens barrel design of the NIRST IR Camera
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Abstract
The use of uncooled microbolometer detectors for space infrared (IR) imaging application requires high optical throughput, which leads to very fast optical design (~f/1). This directly translates into stringent requirements for components, assembly and alignment. The Institut National d'Optique (INO) in Quebec City, Canada, designed such a system for the NIRST IR Camera. The instrument is part of the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite, a cooperative mission conducted jointly by NASA and the Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE) of Argentina. Due to the tight volume and mass allocation, the NIRST camera module is an all refractive design. Since the Camera is made of two lens barrels co-registered to cover the same ground area at different wavelength bands, it also adds coregistration alignment constraints. This paper presents the optomechanical solutions and alignment scheme that enabled the successful design and flight qualification. Trade-off study between thermally induced stress and structural stiffness of the lens RTV bond is discussed. Special attention is given to lens subcell alignment integrity under random vibration encountered during launch. Detailed Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is used to check early design assumptions. Test results of the final vibration campaign are also presented.
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Patrice Côté, Mélanie Leclerc, François Châteauneuf, Hugo Marraco, "Lens barrel design of the NIRST IR Camera", Proc. SPIE 7424, Advances in Optomechanics, 74240E (10 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.827069; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.827069
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