SPICE is an imaging spectrometer operating at vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) wavelengths, 70.4 – 79.0 nm and 97.3 - 104.9 nm. It is a facility instrument on the Solar Orbiter mission, which carries 10 science instruments in all, to make observations of the Sun’s atmosphere and heliosphere, at close proximity to the Sun, i.e to 0.28 A.U. at perihelion. SPICE’s role is to make VUV measurements of plasma in the solar atmosphere. SPICE is designed to achieve spectral imaging at spectral resolution >1500, spatial resolution of several arcsec, and two-dimensional FOV of 11 x16arcmins. The many strong constraints on the instrument design imposed by the mission requirements prevent the imaging performance from exceeding those of previous instruments, but by being closer to the sun there is a gain in spatial resolution. The price which is paid is the harsher environment, particularly thermal. This leads to some novel features in the design, which needed to be proven by ground test programs. These include a dichroic solar-transmitting primary mirror to dump the solar heat, a high in-flight temperature (60deg.C) and gradients in the optics box, and a bespoke variable-line-spacing grating to minimise the number of reflective components used. The tests culminate in the systemlevel test of VUV imaging performance and pointing stability. We will describe how our dedicated facility with heritage from previous solar instruments, is used to make these tests, and show the results, firstly on the Engineering Model of the optics unit, and more recently on the Flight Model. For the keywords, select up to 8 key terms for a search on your manuscript's subject.
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) has more than 20 years of experience in the calibration of space-based instruments using synchrotron radiation to cover the ultraviolet (UV), vacuum UV (VUV), and x-ray spectral range. Over the past decades, PTB has performed calibrations for numerous space missions within scientific collaborations and has become an important partner for activities in this field. New instrumentation at the electron storage ring, metrology light source, creates additional calibration possibilities within this framework. A new facility for the calibration of radiation transfer source standards with a considerably extended spectral range has been put into operation. The commissioning of a large vacuum vessel that can accommodate entire space instruments opens up new prospects. Finally, an existing VUV transfer calibration source was upgraded to increase the spectral range coverage to a band from 15 to 350 nm.
Space-based missions exploring the spectral ranges of extreme- and vacuum-ultraviolet radiation (EUV, VUV) require on-ground, at-wavelength calibration of their detectors and imaging systems. With the use of monochromatized synchrotron radiation, traceable calibrations regarding the spectral responsivity of the instruments can be provided. A dedicated vacuum chamber is used to house space instruments up to 100 kg weight for calibration measurements. Currently, the development of calibration procedures for the EUI instrument of the Solar Orbiter is still underway.