We carried out various tests of 800-mm-diameter aperture, lightweight optics that consisted wholly of carbon fiber-reinforced SiC composite, called HB-Cesic. A cryogenic optical test was performed on the primary mirror to examine any CTE irregularity as a surface change, and only small deformations were observed. The primary mirror was assembled with a convex secondary mirror into an optical system and tested under vacuum at the 6-m-diameter radiometer space chamber at Tsukuba Space Center of JAXA, where we have prepared interferometric metrological facilities to establish techniques to test large optical systems in a horizontal light-axis configuration. The wavefront difference between under vacuum and under atmosphere was confirmed to be less than 0.1 λ at λ=633 nm, if we realigned the optical axis of the interferometer and flat mirror under vacuum. We also demonstrated a stitching interferometry using the Φ800-mm optics by rotating a mask wheel of subapertures in front of the optical reference flat. The wavefront stitched from eight individual measurements of Φ275-mm subapertures differs from the full-aperture measurement without the mask by about 0.1 λ nm RMS, which showed the technique could able to be applied to test large telescopes especially for infrared wavelength region.
The Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) mission is joint mission between Europe and Japan for the launch year of 2018. Mission objective is to improve scientific understanding of cloud-aerosol-radiation interactions that is one of the biggest uncertain factors for numerical climate and weather predictions. The EarthCARE spacecraft equips four instruments such as an ultra violet lidar (ATLID), a cloud profiling radar (CPR), a broadband radiometer (BBR), and a multi-spectral imager (MSI) and perform complete synergy observation to observe aerosols, clouds and their interactions simultaneously from the orbit. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is responsible for development of the CPR in this EarthCARE mission and the CPR will be the first space-borne W-band Doppler radar. The CPR is defined with minimum radar sensitivity of -35dBz (6dB better than current space-borne cloud radar, i.e. CloudSat, NASA), radiometric accuracy of 2.7 dB, and Doppler velocity measurement accuracy of less than 1.3 m/s. These specifications require highly accurate pointing technique in orbit and high power source with large antenna dish. JAXA and National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have been jointly developed this CPR to meet these strict requirements so far and then achieved the development such as new CFRP flex-core structure, long life extended interaction klystron, low loss quasi optical feed technique, and so on. Through these development successes, CPR development phase has been progressed to critical design phase. In addition, new ground calibration technique is also being progressed for launch of EarthCARE/CPR. The unique feature of EarthCARE CPR is vertical Doppler velocity measurement capability. Vertical Doppler velocity measurement is very attractive function from the science point of view, because vertical motions of cloud particles are related with cloud microphysics and dynamics. However, from engineering point of view, Doppler measurement from satellite is quite challenging Technology. In order to maintain and ensure the CPR performance, several types of calibration data will be obtained by CPR. Overall performance of CPR is checked by Active Radar Calibrator (ARC) equipped on the ground (CPR in External Calibration mode). ARC is used to check the CPR transmitter performance (ARC in receiver mode) and receiver performance (ARC in transmitter mode) as well as overall performance (ARC in transponder mode with delay to avoid the contamination with ground echo). In Japan, the instrument industrial Critical Design Review of the CPR was completed in 2013 and it was also complemented by an Interface and Mission aspects CPR CDR, involving ESA and the EarthCARE Prime, that was completed successfully in 2015. The CPR Proto-Flight Model is currently being tested with almost completion of Proto-Flight Model integration. After handed-over to ESA planned for the beginning of 2017, the CPR will be installed onto the EarthCARE satellite with the other instruments. After that the CPR will be tested, transported to Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana and launched by a Soyuz launcher in 2018. This presentation will show the summary of the latest CPR design and CPR PFM testing status.
Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) is a Japanese-European collaborative earth observation satellite mission aimed to deepen understanding of the interaction process between clouds and aerosols and their effects on the Earth’s radiation. The outcome of this mission is expected to improve the accuracy of global climate change prediction. As one of instruments for EarthCARE, the Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) is the world’s first space-borne Doppler cloud radar jointly developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). In Japan, the critical design review of the CPR has been completed in 2013, and CPR proto-flight model was manufactured and integrated until summer in 2015. Finally, the proto-flight test have been just started. This paper describes the design results and current status of CPR proto-flight test.
The contamination control for the next-generation space infrared observatory SPICA is presented. The optical performance of instruments on space observatories are often degraded by particulate and/or molecular contamination. Therefore, the contamination control has a potential to produce a significant risk, and it should be investigated in the risk mitigation phase of the SPICA development. The requirements from contamination- sensitive components onborad SPICA, the telescope assembly and focal plane instruments, are summarized. Possible contamination sources inside and outside the SPICA spacecraft were investigated. Based on impact on the SPICA system design, the following contamination sources were extensively studied through simulation and measurement; (1) outgassing from the payload module surrounding the telescope mirror and focal plane instruments, (2) contamination due to the thruster plume, and (3) environmental contamination during the integration, storage and verification phases. Although the outgas from the payload module and the thruster plume were estimated to produce only a negligible influence, the environmental contamination was suggested to affect significantly the telescope and focal plane instruments. Reasonable countermeasures to reduce the environmental contamination were proposed, some of which were confirmed to be actually effective.
Owing to its high specific stiffness and high thermal stability, silicon carbide is one of the materials most suitable for large space-borne optics. Technologies for accurate optical measurements of large optics in the vacuum or cryogenic conditions are also indispensable. Within the framework of the large SiC mirror study program led by JAXA, we manufactured an 800-mm-diameter lightweight telescope, all of which is made of HB-Cesic, a new type of carbon-fiber-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) material developed jointly by ECM, Germany and MELCO, Japan. We first fabricated an 800-mm HB-Cesic primary mirror, and measured the cryogenic deformation of the mirror mounted on an HB-Cesic optical bench in a liquid-helium chamber. We observed the cryo-deformation of 110 nm RMS at 18 K with neither appreciable distortion associated with the mirror support nor significant residual deformation after cooling. We then integrated the primary mirror and a high-order aspheric secondary mirror into a telescope. To evaluate its optical performance, we established a measurement system, which consists of an interferometer in a pressure vessel mounted on a 5-axis adjustable stage, a 900-mm auto-collimating flat mirror, and a flat mirror stand with mechanisms of 2-axis tilt adjustment and rotation with respect to the telescope optical axis. We installed the telescope with the measurement system into the JAXA 6-m chamber and tested them at a vacuum pressure to verify that the system has a sufficiently high tolerance against vibrations in the chamber environment. Finally we conducted a preliminary study of sub-aperture stitching interferometry, which is needed for telescopes of our target missions in this study, by replacing the 900-mm flat mirror with a rotating 300-mm flat mirror.
We present a test of optical metrology for 800-mm spaceborne optics in the 6-m radiometer thermal vacuum chamber at
JAXA's Tsukuba Space Center of JAXA. Under the framework of the JAXA's large-optics study program for astronomy
and Earth observations, we developed a test bench for interferometric metrology of large optics with an auto-collimation
method in the chamber. The optical system was aligned in a horizontal light-axis configuration within the facility limit to
handle a 3.5-m aperture telescope like SPICA. A high-speed interferometer was contained in an aluminum and titanmade
pressure vessel, which was mounted on the five-axis stage. We tested the 800-mm lightweight C/SiC optics using a
900-mm diameter flat mirror. Alignment changes in tilts of about ten arcseconds were observed as pressure went down
from 1 atm to vacuum. After we re-aligned the interferometer and flat mirror, the wavefronts through the optics under
vacuum were observed to increase in astigmatism aberration by 0.07λRMS at λ=633nm from under atmosphere, which
might be caused by a deformation in the test optics or flat mirror.