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11 July 2016 An optimized Fresnel array for a test space mission in UV
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The Fresnel Diffractive Imager is based on a new optical concept for space telescopes, developed at Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP) in Toulouse, France. We propose it for space missions dedicated to science cases in the Ultra-Violet with aperture ranges from 6 to 30 meters. Instead of a classical mirror to focus light, this concept uses very light-weight diffractive optics : the Fresnel array. Our project has already proved its performances in terms of resolution and high dynamic range in the laboratory, in the visible and near IR. It has been tested successfully on real astrophysical sources from the ground.

At present, the project has reached the stage where a probatory mission is needed to validate its operation in space. In collaboration with institutes in Spain and Russia, we will propose a mission to the Russian space agency Roscosmos, to board a small prototype Fresnel imager on the International Space Station (ISS) for a UV astronomy program.

We have improved the Fresnel array design to get a better Point Spread Function (PSF), 2 different ways. Numerical simulations have first allowed us to confirm these optical improvements, before manufacturing the diffractive optics and using them for new lab tests.

In our previous setups, the opaque Fresnel zones in the primary Fresnel array (playing the role of the telescope objective) were maintained with an orthogonal bars mesh, following the pseudo-period of the Fresnel zones. We show that the PSF improves when these bars are regularly spaced. Furthermore, the optical system is apodized to get a better peaked PSF, and increase its high contrast performances.

In our case, to apodize a binary mask the solution is to modulate the Fresnel zones in relative thickness ratio (opaque versus void), thus driving the local light transmission ratio. In earlier implementations, our Fresnel arrays were apodized with a circularly symmetric law, but an orthogonal apodization law is more efficient. That is why we are developing this particular type of apodized square aperture Fresnel arrays.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
W. Roux and L. Koechlin "An optimized Fresnel array for a test space mission in UV", Proc. SPIE 9905, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 99053E (11 July 2016);

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