in Space

Airbus-built telescope for ESA’s Euclid mission takes shape

Posted 20 November 2019 · Add Comment

The Euclid mission is taking shape in Airbus cleanrooms: engineers are now finishing assembly of the telescope, the main instrument of the Payload Module, for which Airbus is responsible within this European Space Agency (ESA) mission led by Thales Alenia Space (TAS) as industrial prime contractor.



Above: Euclid´s full silicon carbide primary structure.
Copyright Airbus


The Euclid Payload Module contains the largest telescope with such optical performance ever designed and integrated by Airbus.
 
After mounting the truss on the base plate, both made of silicon carbide, Airbus is now completing the final phase of integration: the optical alignment. The telescope will then be sent to Thales Alenia Space, where it will go through further testing and be integrated with the platform.
 
The whole payload integration necessitates extreme clean room discipline with a perfect cleanliness, temperature stability and lack of vibration. For example, during the mechanical assembly, precision of operations is calculated in µm, where for the optical alignment, the scale of precision is in nm (1 million nm in a millimetre).
 
Giuseppe Racca, project manager of Euclid at ESA said: “Euclid is the second “Medium Class” mission in ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme. With the ultimate goal to understand the origin of the Universe’s accelerating expansion, Euclid will map the geometry of the dark universe with unprecedented accuracy. To achieve that, we need the best team effort from 16 countries, mainly in Europe and America, hundreds of laboratories, etc. A true universal team for unlocking the secrets of the Universe.”
 
Euclid will collect high resolution images of the sky by pointing the spacecraft to a new field in deep space once every 80 minutes. Within six years of observation, covering more than one third of the entire sky, Euclid will measure the shapes of, and distances to, more than 1 billion galaxies.
 
“This telescope is the most complex we’ve ever designed and built. It must operate in extremely cold conditions of 100 Kelvin (- 170°C), relying on Airbus’ world-leading expertise in silicon carbide technology for space – already proven in orbit on ESA’s Herschel and Gaia missions,” said Philippe Pham, Head of Earth Observation, Navigation and Science at Airbus.
 
The Euclid Payload Module has three primary features, the main telescope, a 1.2m diameter mirror and a three-mirror Korsch telescope. The main telescope is made entirely of  lightweight silicon carbide (SiC) which gives it excellent thermal stability and enables operation at 130 K (-140°C), making it invisible to near infrared wavelengths.

The 1.2 metre mirror permits diffraction-limited observation of galaxies as faint as magnitude 24.5, while the Korsch telescope supplies light to its two scientific instruments, the Visible Imager (VIS), and the Near-Infrared Spectrophotometer (NISP).

The VIS & NISP instruments are maintained in a very cold environment, at 155 K (-115°C) for the VIS focal plane and 90 K (-180°C) for the NISP one, while the VIS electronics have to be maintained at 290 K (20°C).
 
The VIS & NISP instruments are developed by the Euclid Consortium and delivered to Airbus and Thales Alenia Space by ESA.


 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

IBA forecasts strong headwinds for aviation in 2020

The global aviation marketplace will encounter a wide range of challenges in 2020, according to Leatherhead based independent aviation consultant IBA, which released its 2020 Market Update today.

Space Operations Summit to focus on space ops capabilities

The second annual Space Operations Summit, being held in London from 28th-30th April 2020, will be looking at ways to increase operational capabilities in space.

OXIS targets 600Wh/kg with Lithium Sulfur technology

OXIS Energy has successfully tested its cell prototypes at 471Wh/kg and is confident of achieving 500Wh/kg in the next 12 months.

CAA airspace change guidance CAP 1616 published

Today the CAA published an updated third edition of CAP 1616, Airspace Change: Guidance on the regulatory process for changing the notified airspace design and planned and permanent redistribution of air traffic and on providing

UKMFTS orders four more H145s

Airbus Helicopters in the UK is to provide four additional H145 helicopters as part of an expansion of the UK Military Flight Training System (UKMFTS), announced earlier this week.

Policing gets biggest funding increase in a decade

Today the UK Government announced the biggest increase in funding for the police system in a decade, to help put more bobbies on the beat.

ODU 0201311219
See us at
VIDSE BT1605060320AMAS BT0312270220FIL20BT010819260720S&P BT241019040320