Meteosat Third Generation is the next ESA Program of Earth Observation dedicated to provide Europe with an operational satellite system able to support accurate prediction of meteorological phenomena until the late 2030s. The satellites will be operating from the Geostationary orbit using a 3 axes stabilized platform. The main instrument is called the Flexible Combined Imager (FCI), currently under development by Thales Alenia Space France. It will continue the successful operation of the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) on Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) with improved performance.
This instrument will provide full images of the Earth every 10 minutes in 16 spectral channels between 0.44 and 13.3 μm. The ground resolution is ranging from 0.5 km to 2 km. The FCI is composed of a telescope developed by Kayser-Threde, which includes a Scan mirror for the full Earth coverage, and a calibration mechanism with an embedded black body dedicated to accurate in-flight IR radiometric calibration. The image produced by the telescope is split into several spectral groups by a spectral separation assembly (SSA) thanks to dichroïc beamsplitters. The output beams are collimated to ease the instrument integration before reaching the cryostat. Inside, the cold optics (CO-I) focalize the optical beams onto the IR detectors. The cold optics and IR detectors are accurately positioned inside a common cold plate to improve registration between spectral channels. Spectral filters are integrated on top of the detectors in order to achieve the required spectral selection.
This article describes the FCI optical design and performances. We will focus on the image quality needs, the high line-of-sight stability required, the spectral transmittance performance, and the stray-light rejection. The FCI currently under development will exhibit a significant improvement of performances with respect to MSG.
The Spectral Separation Assembly is a key component of the Flexible Combined Imager, an instrument that will be on-board Meteosat Third Generation. It splits the input beam coming from the telescope into five spectral groups, for a total of 16 channels, from 0.4 to 13.3 μm. It comprises a set of four dichroics separators followed by four collimating optics for the infrared spectral groups, which feed the cold imaging optics. The visible spectral group is directly imaged on a detector. This paper presents the optical design of the assembly, the mechanical mounting of the optical components, and the coatings developed for the dichroics, mirrors and lenses.
PICARD, a Sun observing satellite, has produced more than one million images during its 4-year mission. SODISM is one of three instruments on-board, whose main goal is to measure the solar limb and its spectral dependence from the middle ultraviolet to the near infrared. The very high accuracy (a few milli-arcseconds) needed to measure the solar limb with its spatial and temporal variations makes the instrument very sensitive to small aberrations. In this paper, we will present the impact of various parameters on the solar limb measurement, from simple displacements of mirrors to complex mirror deformations and thermal gradients. A complete scenario has been constructed from these simulations, leading to a model that describes the actual limbs obtained with SODISM. All these simulations will help improving future missions, by assessing the critical parameters affecting the measurement accuracies of such instruments.
The near-infrared spectrograph (NIRSpec) is a complex instrument that will be launched on board the James
Webb Space Telescope (JWST). It is composed of three three-mirror anastigmats (TMAs) made of silicon carbide
(SiC). Sagem REOSC has been in charge of the mirror polishing, coating, alignment and testing, as well as
cryogenic testing. The performance level and the alignment constraints, along with the polishing and alignment
processes, have led to the set up of a model to accurately predict the final performances of each TMA, and
minimize the risk of vignetting. The model has then been fitted to the measured parameters obtained after
alignment (wavefront error, magnification or focal length...) to get an accurate modelization of the actual
performances, and allow their evaluation on the full field of view. The model has been finally delivered with
each TMA, as a basis for the instrument performance simulator. We will show a good correlation between the
predicted performance (before alignment, obtained from individual mirror data) and the final performance (after
alignment), as well as a very good fit between the as-built models and the actual TMAs.