28 July 2014 Realization and performance of cryogenic selection mechanisms
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Abstract
Within Infra-Red large wavelength bandwidth instruments the use of mechanisms for selection of observation modes, filters, dispersing elements, pinholes or slits is inevitable. The cryogenic operating environment poses several challenges to these cryogenic mechanisms; like differential thermal shrinkage, physical property change of materials, limited use of lubrication, high feature density, limited space etc. MATISSE the mid-infrared interferometric spectrograph and imager for ESO's VLT interferometer (VLTI) at Paranal in Chile coherently combines the light from 4 telescopes. Within the Cold Optics Bench (COB) of MATISSE two concepts of selection mechanisms can be distinguished based on the same design principles: linear selection mechanisms (sliders) and rotating selection mechanisms (wheels).Both sliders and wheels are used at a temperature of 38 Kelvin. The selection mechanisms have to provide high accuracy and repeatability. The sliders/wheels have integrated tracks that run on small, accurately located, spring loaded precision bearings. Special indents are used for selection of the slider/wheel position. For maximum accuracy/repeatability the guiding/selection system is separated from the actuation in this case a cryogenic actuator inside the cryostat. The paper discusses the detailed design of the mechanisms and the final realization for the MATISSE COB. Limited lifetime and performance tests determine accuracy, warm and cold and the reliability/wear during life of the instrument. The test results and further improvements to the mechanisms are discussed.
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Gabby Aitink-Kroes, Gabby Aitink-Kroes, Felix Bettonvil, Felix Bettonvil, Jan Kragt, Jan Kragt, Eddy Elswijk, Eddy Elswijk, Niels Tromp, Niels Tromp, "Realization and performance of cryogenic selection mechanisms", Proc. SPIE 9151, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation, 91510F (28 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056803; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2056803
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