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Proceedings Paper

Preliminary evaluation of the diffraction behind the PROBA 3/ASPIICS optimized occulter
Author(s): Cristian Baccani; Federico Landini; Marco Romoli; Matteo Taccola; Hagen Schweitzer; Silvano Fineschi; Alessandro Bemporad; Davide Loreggia; Gerardo Capobianco; Maurizio Pancrazzi; Mauro Focardi; Vladimiro Noce; Cédric Thizy; Jean-Sébastien Servaye; Etienne Renotte
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Paper Abstract

PROBA-3 is a technological mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), devoted to the in-orbit demon- stration of formation flying (FF) techniques and technologies. ASPIICS is an externally occulted coronagraph approved by ESA as payload in the framework of the PROBA-3 mission and is currently in its C/D phase. FF offers a solution to investigate the solar corona close the solar limb using a two-component space system: the external occulter on one spacecraft and the optical instrument on the other, separated by a large distance and kept in strict alignment. ASPIICS is characterized by an inter-satellite distance of ∼144 m and an external occulter diameter of 1.42 m. The stray light due to the diffraction by the external occulter edge is always the most critical offender to a coronagraph performance: the designer work is focused on reducing the stray light and carefully evaluating the residuals. In order to match this goal, external occulters are usually characterized by an optimized shape along the optical axis. Part of the stray light evaluation process is based on the diffraction calculation with the optimized occulter and with the whole solar disk as a source. We used the field tracing software VirtualLabTM Fusion by Wyrowski Photonics [1] to simulate the diffraction. As a first approach and in order to evaluate the software, we simulated linear occulters, through as portions of the flight occulter, in order to make a direct comparison with the Phase-A measurements [2].

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2016
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 990450 (29 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232534
Show Author Affiliations
Cristian Baccani, Univ. of Florence (Italy)
Federico Landini, INAF - Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
Marco Romoli, Univ. of Florence (Italy)
Matteo Taccola, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
Hagen Schweitzer, LightTrans International UG (Germany)
Silvano Fineschi, INAF - Turin Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
Alessandro Bemporad, INAF - Turin Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
Davide Loreggia, INAF - Turin Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
Gerardo Capobianco, INAF - Turin Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
Maurizio Pancrazzi, INAF - Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
Mauro Focardi, INAF - Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory (Italy)
Vladimiro Noce, Univ. of Florence (Italy)
Cédric Thizy, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
Jean-Sébastien Servaye, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
Etienne Renotte, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9904:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Howard A. MacEwen; Giovanni G. Fazio; Makenzie Lystrup; Natalie Batalha; Nicholas Siegler; Edward C. Tong, Editor(s)

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