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27 August 2010 MERTIS: reflective baffle design and manufacturing
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Optical instruments for remote sensing applications frequently require measures for reducing the amount of external, unwanted stray light in the optical instrument path. The reflective planet baffle design and manufacturing process for the thermal infrared imaging spectrometer MERTIS onboard of ESA's cornerstone mission BepiColombo to Mercury is presented. The baffle has to reflect the unwanted solar flux and scattered IR radiation, and minimize the heat load on the instrument. Based on optical stray light simulations and analyses of different baffle concepts the Stavroudis principle showed the best performance and the smallest number of internal reflections. The setup makes use of the optical properties of specific conic sections of revolution. These are the oblate spheroid, generated by rotating an ellipse about its minor axis, and the hyperboloid of one sheet, obtained by the rotation of a hyperbola around its conjugate axis. Due to the demanding requirements regarding surface quality, low mass and high mechanical stability, electroforming fabrication was selected for the baffle. During manufacturing, a layer of high strength nickel alloy is electrodeposited onto a diamond turned aluminum mandrel. The mandrel is subsequently chemically dissolved. Not only the baffle, but also the baffle support structure and other mating components are electroformed. Finally, the baffle and support structure are assembled and joined by an inert gas soldering process. After the optimum baffle geometry and surface roughness has been realized, the remaining total heat flux on the baffle is only dependent on the selection of the appropriate, high reflective coating.
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T. Zeh, C. Gal, S. Kaiser, G. Peter, I. Walter, J. Helbert, J. Jachlewski, K. Multhaup, and H. Hiesinger "MERTIS: reflective baffle design and manufacturing", Proc. SPIE 7808, Infrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XVIII, 78080O (27 August 2010);

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