In the last two decades, Spain has built up a strong IR community which has successfully contributed to space instruments, reaching Co-PI level in the SPICA mission (Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics). Under the SPICA mission, INTA, focused on the SAFARI instrument requirements but highly adaptable to other missions has designed a cryogenic low dissipation filter wheel with six positions, taking as starting point the past experience of the team with the OSIRIS instrument (ROSETTA mission) filter wheels and adapting the design to work at cryogenic temperatures. One of the main goals of the mechanism is to use as much as possible commercial components and test them at cryogenic temperature. This paper is focused on the design of the filter wheel, including the material selection for each of the main components of the mechanism, the design of elastic mount for the filter assembly, a positioner device designed to provide positional accuracy and repeatability to the filter, allowing the locking of the position without dissipation. In order to know the position of the wheel on every moment a position sensor based on a Hall sensor was developed. A series of cryogenic tests have been performed in order to validate the material configuration selected, the ball bearing lubrication and the selection of the motor. A stepper motor characterization campaign was performed including heat dissipation measurements. The result is a six position filter wheel highly adaptable to different configurations and motors using commercial components. The mechanism was successfully tested at INTA facilities at 20K at breadboard level.
EMIR is a near-IR, multi-slit camera-spectrograph under development for the 10m GTC on La Palma. It will deliver up to 45 independent R equals 3500-4000 spectra of sources over a field of view of 6 feet by 3 feet, and allow NIR imaging over a 6 foot by 6 foot FOV, with spatial sampling of 0.175 inch/pixel. The prime science goal of the instrument is to open K-band, wide field multi-object spectroscopy on 10m class telescopes. Science applications range from the study of star-forming galaxies beyond z equals 2, to observations of substellar objects and dust-enshrouded star formation regions. Main technological challenges include the large optics, the mechanical and thermal stability and the need to implement a mask exchange mechanism that does not require warming up the spectrograph. EMIR is begin developed by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Observatoire Midi-Pyrennees, and the University of Durham. Currently in its Preliminary Design phase, EMIR is expected to start science operation in 2004.