We describe the population, optomechanical alignment, and alignment verification of near-infrared gratings on the grating wheel mechanism (GWM) for the Infrared Multi-Object Spectrometer (IRMOS). IRMOS is a cryogenic (80 K), principle investigator-class instrument for the 2.1 m and Mayall 3.8 m telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory, and a MEMS spectrometer concept demonstrator for the James Webb Space Telescope.
The GWM consists of 13 planar diffraction gratings and one flat imaging mirror (58x57 mm), each mounted at a unique compound angle on a 32 cm diameter gear. The mechanism is predominantly made of Al 6061. The grating substrates are stress relieved for enhanced cryogenic performance. The optical surfaces are replicated from off-the-shelf masters. The imaging mirror is diamond turned. The GWM spans a projected diameter of ~48 cm when assembled, utilizes several flexure designs to accommodate potential thermal gradients, and is controlled using custom software with an off-the-shelf controller.
Under ambient conditions, each grating is aligned in six degrees of freedom relative to a coordinate system that is referenced to an optical alignment cube mounted at the center of the gear. The local tip/tilt (Rx/Ry) orientation of a given grating is measured using the zero-order return from an autocollimating theodolite. The other degrees of freedom are measured using a two-axis cathetometer and rotary table. Each grating's mount includes a one-piece shim located between the optic and the gear. The shim is machined to fine align each grating. We verify ambient alignment by comparing grating diffractive properties to model predictions.