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12 October 2011 OPSys: optical payload systems facility for testing space coronagraphs
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The Turin Astronomical Observatory, Italy, has implemented in ALTEC, Turin, a new Optical Payload Systems (OPSys) facility for testing of contamination sensitive optical space flight instrumentation. The facility is specially tailored for tests on solar instruments like coronagraphs. OPSys comprises an ISO 7 clean room for instrument assembly and a relatively large (4.4 m3) optical test and calibration vacuum chamber: the Space Optics Calibration Chamber (SPOCC). SPOCC consists of a test section with a vacuum-compatible motorized optical bench, and of a pipeline section with a sun simulator at the opposite end of the optical bench hosting the instrumentation under tests. The solar simulator is an off-axis parabolic mirror collimating the light from the source with the solar angular divergence. After vacuum conditioning, the chamber will operate at an ultimate pressure of 10-6 mbar. This work describes the SPOCC's vacuum system and optical design, and the post-flight stray-light tests to be carried out on the Sounding-rocket Experiment (SCORE). This sub-orbital solar coronagraph is the prototype of the METIS coronagraph for the ESA Solar Orbital mission whose closest perihelion is one-third of the Sun-Earth distance. The plans are outlined for testing METIS in the SPOCC simulating the observing conditions from the Solar Orbiter perihelion.
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S. Fineschi, G. Crescenzio, G. Massone, G. Capobianco, L. Zangrilli, E. Antonucci, and F. Anselmi "OPSys: optical payload systems facility for testing space coronagraphs", Proc. SPIE 8148, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation IV, 81480W (12 October 2011);

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