21 July 2010 The SIM Lite Astrometric Observatory: engineering risk reduction activity
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Abstract
The SIM Lite Astrometric Observatory is a mission concept for a space-borne instrument to perform micro-arcsecond narrow-angle astrometry to search 60 to 100 nearby stars for Earth-like planets, and to perform global astrometry for a broad astrophysics program. The main enabling technology development for the mission was completed during phases A & B. While the project is waiting for the results of the ASTRO2010 Decadal Survey to proceed into flight implementation, the instrument team is currently converting the developed technology onto flight-ready engineering models. These key engineering tasks will significantly reduce the implementation risks during the flight phases C & D of the mission. The main optical interferometer components, including the astrometric beam combiner (ABC), the fine steering mechanism (FSM), the path-length control and modulation optical mechanisms (POM & MOM), focal plane camera electronics (ATC & FTC), camera cooling cryo-heat pipe, and the siderostat mechanism are currently under development. Main assemblies are built to meet flight requirements and have been or will be subjected to flight qualification level environmental testing (random vibration and thermal cycling) and performance testing. The Spectral Calibration Development Unit (SCDU), a white light interferometer testbed has recently demonstrated how to perform the spectral calibration of the instrument. The Guide 2 Telescope testbed (G2T) has demonstrated the 50 micro-arcsecond angle monitoring capability required by SIM Lite to perform astrometry. This paper summarizes recent progress in engineering risk reduction activities.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Renaud Goullioud, Renaud Goullioud, Frank Dekens, Frank Dekens, Bijan Nemati, Bijan Nemati, Xin An, Xin An, Larry Hovland, Larry Hovland, "The SIM Lite Astrometric Observatory: engineering risk reduction activity", Proc. SPIE 7734, Optical and Infrared Interferometry II, 77341M (21 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857721; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857721
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