2 August 2014 An improved version of the Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR) spectrometer of EChO
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Abstract
The Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR) is one of the modules of EChO, the Exoplanets Characterization Observatory proposed to ESA for an M-class mission. EChO is aimed to observe planets while transiting by their suns. Then the instrument has be designed to assure a high efficiency over the whole spectral range. In fact, it has to be able to observe stars with an apparent magnitude Mv= 9÷12 and able to see contrasts of 10-4÷10-5 in order to reveal the characteristics of the atmospheres of the exoplanets under investigation. VNIR was originally designed for covering the spectral range from 0.4 to 1.0 μm [1] but now the design has been reviewed and its spectral range has been extended up to 2.5 μm. It is a spectrometer in a cross-dispersed configuration that, then, uses the combination of a diffraction grating and a prism to spread the light in different wavelengths and in a useful number of orders of diffraction. Its resolving power is about 330 over the entire spectral range and its field of view is approximately 2 arcsec. The spectrometer is functionally split into two channels respectively working in the 0.4-1.0 μm and 1.0-2.5 μm spectral ranges. Such a solution is imposed by the fact the light at low wavelengths has to be shared with the EChO Fine Guiding System (FGS) devoted to the pointing of the stars under observation. The instrument works at 45K and its weight is 6 kg.
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G. Bellucci, G. Bellucci, A. Adriani, A. Adriani, L. Gambicorti, L. Gambicorti, M. Focardi, M. Focardi, E. Oliva, E. Oliva, M. Farina, M. Farina, A. M. Di Giorgio, A. M. Di Giorgio, E. Pace, E. Pace, G. Piccioni, G. Piccioni, G. Filacchione, G. Filacchione, M. Pancrazzi, M. Pancrazzi, A. Tozzi, A. Tozzi, G. Micela, G. Micela, "An improved version of the Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR) spectrometer of EChO", Proc. SPIE 9143, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 91434E (2 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055107; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2055107
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