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Manufacturing and qualification of the QM mirror for the High-Resolution Spectrometer of the FLEX mission
FLORIS (FLuorescence Imaging Spectrometer) is the single High-Resolution Spectrometer instrument of the FLEX (FLuorescence EXplorer) mission, currently under development by the European Space Agency as the eighth Earth Explorer Mission. The goal of the mission is the monitoring of the chlorophyll fluorescence of plants giving information about their photosynthetic activity. Leonardo Avionics & Space System Division is the prime contractor for the FLORIS Instrument for which Media Lario is manufacturing the QM unit of the spherical mirror included in the High-Resolution Spectrometer (HRSPE), hereafter called HRM mirror. The High-Resolution Mirror is a 250-mm diameter spherical mirror with a radius of curvature of approximately 440 mm. For the mirror substrate, Leonardo has selected the Aluminium alloy AlSi40, a special alloy with 40% Silicon content, coated with a hard polishing layer of Nickel Phosphorus (NiP), deposited by electroless chemical process. The Silicon content allows this special Aluminium alloy to have the same coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of the NiP layer, therefore preventing thermal deformations deriving from the bimetallic effect. The mirror structure is light-weighted to approximately 2.8 kg. The required wave-front error of the mirror is better than 0.5 fringes PV, while the surface microroughness has been specified at 0.5 nm RMS due to stringent straylight requirements of the FLORIS instrument. Media Lario has been selected for the mirror development phase because of their experience in the design and manufacturing of AlSi/NiP mirrors demonstrated in the development of the Earth Observation optical payload for small satellites (called STREEGO), based on an AlSi40 TMA telescope. The manufacturing process includes precision diamond turning, optical figuring and super-polishing. The optical coating will be done by Leonardo at their thin-films facility of Carsoli, Italy. Since the recipe prescribes to pre-heat the mirror surface at 100 °C, Media Lario will qualify the mirror substrate with -25/+110 °C thermal cycles to ensure adequate thermal stability for the coating process.
Arcangeli Luigina, Bianucci Giovanni, Marioni Fabio, Mazzoleni Ruben, Rossi Massimiliano, Terraneo Marco, Zocchi Fabio, Meini Marco, Galeotti Francesco, Gabrieli Riccardo, Belli Fabio, Taccola Matteo
Paper for Seminar/Symposium/Conference
ICSO 2018 - International Conference on Space Optics (09-12 October 2018, Chania, Greece)
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