The nature of Dark Energy can by constrained by the precise determination of super-novae distance moduli in ultraviolet
to near IR pass-bands. Space-based observations are required for these moduli to be measured with the scientifically
required photometric accuracies. Consequently, robust pass-band filters operable at cryogenic temperatures (120-140K)
are needed that have challenging performance attributes including high in-band transmission, low ripple, good out-ofband
rejection, and moderate band-edge slope. We describe the requirements and performance of dielectric multi-layer
filters with spectral profiles that are suitable for both achieving the science and for accurate calibration using plausible
on-orbit measurement systems.
Large format (1k × 1k and 2k × 2k) near infrared detectors manufactured by Rockwell Scientific Center and Raytheon Vision Systems are characterized as part of the near infrared R&D effort for SNAP (the Super-Nova/Acceleration Probe). These are hybridized HgCdTe focal plane arrays with a sharp high wavelength cut-off at 1.7 μm. This cut-off provides a sufficiently deep reach in redshift while it allows at the same time low dark current operation of the passively cooled detectors at 140 K. Here the baseline SNAP near infrared system is briefly described and the science driven requirements for the near infrared detectors are summarized. A few results obtained during the testing of engineering grade near infrared devices procured for the SNAP project are highlighted. In particular some recent measurements that target correlated noise between adjacent detector pixels due to capacitive coupling and the response uniformity within individual detector pixels are discussed.
Mission requirements, the baseline design, and optical systems budgets for the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) telescope are presented. SNAP is a proposed space-based experiment designed to study dark energy and alternate explanations of the acceleration of the universe’s expansion by performing a series of complementary systematics-controlled astrophysical measurements. The goals of the mission are a Type Ia supernova Hubble diagram and a wide-field weak gravitational lensing survey. A 2m widefield three-mirror telescope feeds a focal plane consisting of 36 CCDs and 36 HgCdTe detectors and a high-efficiency, low resolution integral field spectrograph. Details of the maturing optical system, with emphasis on structural stability during terrestrial testing as well as expected environments during operations at L2 are discussed. The overall stray light mitigation system, including illuminated surfaces and visible objects are also presented.
A well-adapted spectrograph concept has been developed for the SNAP (SuperNova/Acceleration Probe) experiment. The goal is to ensure proper identification of Type Iz supernovae and to standardize the magnitude of each candidate by determining explosion parameters. The spectrograph is also a key element for the calibration of the science mission. An instrument based on an integral field method with the powerful concept of imager slicing has been designed and is presented in this paper. The spectrograph concept is optimized to have high efficiency and low spectral resolution (R~100), constant through the wavelength range (0.35-1.7μm), adapted to the scientific goals of the mission.
We present the baseline telescope design for the telescope for the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) space mission. SNAP’s purpose is to determine expansion history of the Universe by measuring the redshifts, magnitudes, and spectral classifications of thousands of supernovae with unprecedented accuracy. Discovering and measuring these supernovae demand both a wide optical field and a high sensitivity throughout the visible and near IR wavebands. We have adopted the annular-field three-mirror anastigmat (TMA) telescope configuration, whose classical aberrations (including chromatic) are zero. We show a preliminary optmechanical design that includes important features for stray light control and on-orbit adjustment and alignment of the optics. We briefly discuss stray light and tolerance issues, and present a preliminary wavefront error budget for the SNAP Telescope. We conclude by describing some of the design tasks being carried out during the current SNAP research and development phase.
The proposed SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will have a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction-limited images to an instrumented 0.7 square degree field in the visible and near-infrared wavelength regime. The requirements for the instrument suite and the present configuration of the focal plane concept are presented. A two year R&D phase, largely supported by the Department of Energy, is just beginning. We describe the development activities that are taking place to advance our preparedness for mission proposal in the areas of detectors and electronics.
A well-adapted spectrograph concept has been developed for the SNAP (SuperNova/Acceleration Probe) experiment. The goal is to ensure proper identification of Type Ia supernovae and to standardize the magnitude of each candidate by determining explosion parameters. An instrument based on an integral field method with the powerful concept of imager slicing has been designed and is presented in this paper. The spectrograph concept is optimized to have very high efficiency and low spectral resolution (R~100), constant through the wavelength range (0.35-1.7μm), adapted to the scientific goals of the mission.
The SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) will measure precisely the cosmological expansion history over both the acceleration and deceleration epochs and thereby constrain the nature of the dark energy that dominates our universe today. The SNAP focal plane contains equal areas of optical CCDs and NIR sensors and an integral field spectrograph. Having over 150 million pixels and a field-of-view of 0.34 square degrees, the SNAP NIR system will be the largest yet constructed. With sensitivity in the range 0.9-1.7 μm, it will detect Type Ia supernovae between z = 1 and 1.7 and will provide follow-up precision photometry for all supernovae. HgCdTe technology, with a cut-off tuned to 1.7 μm, will permit passive cooling at 140 K while maintaining noise below zodiacal levels. By dithering to remove the effects of intrapixel variations and by careful attention to other instrumental effects, we expect to control relative photometric accuracy below a few hundredths of a magnitude. Because SNAP continuously revisits the same fields we will be able to achieve outstanding statistical precision on the photometry of reference stars in these fields, allowing precise monitoring of our detectors. The capabilities of the NIR system for broadening the science reach of SNAP are discussed.
The proposed SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will have a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction-limited images to an instrumented 0.7 square-degree field sensitive in the visible and near-infrared wavelength regime. We describe the requirements for the instrument suite and the evolution of the focal plane design to the present concept in which all the instrumentation -- visible and near-infrared imagers, spectrograph, and star guiders -- share one common focal plane.
The Supernova / Acceleration Probe (SNAP) is a proposed space-borne observatory that will survey the sky with a wide-field optical/near-infrared (NIR) imager. The images produced by SNAP will have an unprecedented combination of depth, solid-angle, angular resolution, and temporal sampling. For 16 months each, two 7.5 square-degree fields will be observed every four days to a magnitude depth of AB=27.7 in each of the SNAP filters, spanning 3500-17000Å. Co-adding images over all epochs will give AB=30.3 per filter. In addition, a 300 square-degree field will be surveyed to AB=28 per filter, with no repeated temporal sampling. Although the survey strategy is tailored for supernova and weak gravitational lensing observations, the resulting data will support a broad range of auxiliary science programs.
The SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will require a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction limited images spanning a one degree field in the visible and near infrared wavelength regime. This requirement, equivalent to nearly one billion pixel resolution, places stringent demands on its optical system in terms of field flatness, image quality, and freedom from chromatic aberration. We discuss the advantages of annular-field three-mirror anastigmat (TMA) telescopes for applications such as SNAP, and describe the features of the specific optical configuration that we have baselined for the SNAP mission. We discuss the mechanical design and choice of materials for the telescope. Then we present detailed ray traces and diffraction calculations for our baseline optical design. We briefly discuss stray light and tolerance issues, and present a preliminary wavefront error budget for the SNAP Telescope. We conclude by describing some of tasks to be carried out during the upcoming SNAP research and development phase.
The SuperNova / Acceleration Probe (SNAP) is a space-based experiment to measure the expansion history of the Universe and study both its dark energy and the dark matter. The experiment is motivated by the startling discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. A 0.7~square-degree imager comprised of 36 large format fully-depleted n-type CCD's sharing a focal plane with 36 HgCdTe detectors forms the heart of SNAP, allowing discovery and lightcurve measurements simultaneously for many supernovae. The imager and a high-efficiency low-resolution integral field spectrograph are coupled to a 2-m three mirror anastigmat wide-field telescope, which will be placed in a high-earth orbit. The SNAP mission can obtain high-signal-to-noise calibrated light-curves and spectra for over 2000 Type Ia supernovae at redshifts between z = 0.1 and 1.7. The resulting data set can not only determine the amount of dark energy with high precision, but test the nature of the dark energy by examining its equation of state. In particular, dark energy due to a cosmological constant can be differentiated from alternatives such as "quintessence", by measuring the dark energy's equation of state to an accuracy of ± 0.05, and by studying its time dependence.
The high-energy antimatter telescope (HEAT) instrument has been flown successfully by high-altitude balloon in 1994 and 1995, in a configuration optimized for the detection and identification of cosmic-ray electrons and positrons at energies from about 1 GeV up to 50 GeV and beyond. It consists of a two-coil superconducting magnet and a precision drift-tube tracking hodoscope, complemented with a time-of-flight system, a transition radiation detector and an electromagnetic shower counter. We review the design criteria for optimal e+/- detection and identification, and assess the instruments' performance and background rejection during its first two flights. We also review the adaptation of HEAT for measurements of high-energy cosmic- ray antiprotons and for isotopic composition studies.