29 July 2016 Design of an afocal telescope for the ARIEL mission
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Abstract
ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey) is one of the three candidates for the next ESA medium-class science mission (M4) expected to be launched in 2026. This mission will be devoted to observe spectroscopically in the infrared (IR) a large population of known transiting planets in our Galaxy. ARIEL is based on a 1-m class telescope ahead of two spectrometer channels covering the band 1.95 to 7.8 microns. In addition there are four photometric channels: two wide band, also used as fine guidance sensors, and two narrow band. During its 3.5 years operations from L2 orbit, ARIEL will continuously observe exoplanets transiting their host star. The ARIEL design is conceived as a fore-module common afocal telescope that will feed the spectrometer and photometric channels. The telescope optical design is an off-axis portion of a two-mirror classic telescope coupled to a tertiary off-axis paraboloidal mirror providing a collimating output beam. The telescope and optical bench operating temperatures, as well as those of some subsystems, will be monitored and fine tuned/stabilised mainly by means of a thermal control subsystem (TCU - Telescope Control Unit) working in closed-loop feedback and hosted by the main Payload electronics unit, i.e. the Instrument Control Unit (ICU). In this paper the telescope requirements will be given together with the foreseen design. The technical solution chosen to passively cool the telescope unit will be detailed discussed.
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Vania Da Deppo, Kevin Middleton, Mauro Focardi, Gianluca Morgante, Emanuele Pace, Riccardo Claudi, Giuseppina Micela, "Design of an afocal telescope for the ARIEL mission", Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 990434 (29 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2230969; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2230969
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