The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) requires the control of the optical path of each interferometer with picometer
accuracy. Laser metrology gauges are used to measure the path lengths to the fiducial corner cubes at the siderostats.
Due to the geometry of SIM a single corner cube does not have sufficient acceptance angle to work with all the gauges.
Therefore SIM employs a double corner cube. Current fabrication methods are in fact not capable of producing such a
double corner cube with vertices having sufficient commonality. The plan for SIM is to measure the non-commonalty of
the vertices and correct for the error in orbit. SIM requires that the non-common vertex error (NCVE) of the double
corner cube to be less than 6 μm. The required accuracy for the knowledge of the NCVE is less than 1 μm. This paper
explains a method of measuring non-common vertices of a brassboard double corner cube with sub-micron accuracy.
The results of such a measurement will be presented.
As part of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) materials working group, a novel cryogenic dilatometer was designed and built at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to help address stringent coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) knowledge requirements. Previously reported results and error analysis have estimated a CTE measurement accuracy for ULE of 1.7 ppb/K with a 20K thermal load and 0.1 ppb/K with a 280K thermal load. Presented here is a further discussion of the cryogenic dilatometer system and a description of recent work including system modifications and investigations.
The Dual Anamorphic Reflector Telescope (DART) is an architecture for large aperture space telescopes that enables the use of membranes. A membrance can be readily shaped in one direction of curvature using a combination of boundary control and tensioning, yielding a cylindrical reflector. Two cylindrical reflectors (orthogonal and confocal) comprise the 'primary mirror' of the telescope system. The aperture is completely unobstructed and ideal for infrared and high contrast observations. The DART high precision testbed researches fabrication, assembly, adjustment and characterization of 1 meter cylindrical membrane reflectors made of copper foil or kapton. We have implemented two metrology instruments: a non-contacting, scanning profilometer and an infrared interferometer. The profilometer is a laser confocal displacement measuring unit on an XYZ scanning stage. The infrared interferometer used a cylindrical null lens that tests a subaperture of the membrane at center of curvature. Current surface figure achieved is 25 μm rms over a 50 cm diameter aperture.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be a 6-meter diameter segmented reflector that will be launched at room temperature and passively cooled to about 40 Kelvin at the L2 point. Because of the large thermal load, understanding the thermophysical properties of the mirror, secondary optics, and supporting structure materials is crucial to the design of an instrument that will provide diffraction limited performance at 2 microns. Once deployed, JWST will perform continuous science without wave front re-calibrations for durations ranging from one day to a month. Hence understanding of how small temperature fluctuations will impact the nanometric stability of the optical system through thermal expansion is required. As a result, the JWST materials testing team has designed and built a novel cryogenic dilatometer capable of coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) measurements of ULE accurate to ~ 1.6 and 0.1 ppb/K for a nominal CTE = 30 ppb/K and 20 and 280 K thermal loads, respectively. The dilatometer will be used to measure the CTE of samples from JWST primary mirror prototypes, local CTE variations from multiple locations on a prototype mirror, CTE variations from batch to batch of the same material, and thermal and mechanical creep measurements from room temperature down to 30 K.
The LISA mission will form the equivalent of a Michelson interferometric beat signal from the 1064nm laser beams traversing the inter-spacecraft arms. The design gravitational wave sensitivity requires measurement of round trip path differences for each detector to be about 10 pm/square rootHz over a frequency range from 10-4 to 10-1 Hz. Thus LISA's phasemeter must measure the beat signal phase to 10-5 cycle/square rootHz at 1mHz. Doppler shifts between spacecraft in their orbits are expected to range from 1 to 15 MHz. Phase measurement using the digital phase-locked loop approach incorporated in a modified TurboRogue GPS receiver has been investigated in this study. It is found that only resolution in the range of 10-4 to 10-3 cycle/square rootHz at 1 mHz is achievable with this hardware. Abrupt fluctuations in the phase measurement at the millicycle level are responsible for the limitation.
The concept of radiographic equalization has previously been investigated. However, a suitable technique for digital fluoroscopic applications has not been developed. The previously reported scanning equalization techniques cannot be applied to fluoroscopic applications due to their exposure time limitations. On the other hand, area beam equalization techniques are more suited for digital fluoroscopic applications. The purpose of this study is to develop an x- ray beam equalization technique for digital fluoroscopic applications that will produce an equalized radiograph with minimal image artifacts and tube loading. Preliminary unequalized images of a humanoid chest phantom were acquired using a digital fluoroscopic system. Using this preliminary image as a guide, an 8 by 8 array of square pistons were used to generate masks in a mold with CeO<SUP>2</SUP>. The CeO<SUP>2</SUP> attenuator thicknesses were calculated using the gray level information from the unequalized image. The generated mask was positioned close to the focal spot (magnification of 8.0) in order to minimize edge artifacts from the mask. The masks were generated manually in order to investigate the piston and matrix size requirements. The development of an automated version of mask generation and positioning is in progress. The results of manual mask generation and positioning show that it is possible to generate equalized radiographs with minimal perceptible artifacts. The equalization of x-ray transmission across the field exiting from the object significantly improved the image quality by preserving local contrast throughout the image. Furthermore, the reduction in dynamic range significantly reduced the effect of x-ray scatter and veiling glare from high transmission to low transmission areas. Also, the x-ray tube loading due to the mask assembly itself was negligible. In conclusion it is possible to produce area beam compensation that will be compatible with digital fluoroscopy with minimal compensation artifacts. The compensation process produces an image with equalized signal to noise ratio in all parts of the image.