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Proceedings Paper

Management of the JWST MIRI pFM environmental and performance verification test campaign
Author(s): Paul Eccleston; Alistair Glasse; Timothy Grundy; Örs Hunor Detre; Brian O'Sullivan; Bryan Shaughnessy; Jon Sykes; John Thatcher; Helen Walker; Martyn Wells; Gillian Wright; David Wright
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Paper Abstract

The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) is one of four scientific instruments on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) observatory, scheduled for launch in 2018. It will provide unique capabilities to probe the distant or deeply dust-enshrouded regions of the Universe, investigating the history of star and planet formation from the earliest universe to the present day. To enable this the instrument optical module must be cooled below 7K, presenting specific challenges for the environmental testing and calibration activities. The assembly, integration and verification (AIV) activities for the proto-flight model (pFM) instrument ran from March 2010 to May 2012 at RAL where the instrument has been put through a full suite of environmental and performance tests with a non-conventional single cryo-test approach. In this paper we present an overview of the testing conducted on the MIRI pFM including ambient alignment testing, vibration testing, gravity release testing, cryogenic performance and calibration testing, functional testing at ambient and operational temperatures, thermal balance tests, and Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing. We discuss how tests were planned and managed to ensure that the whole AIV process remained on schedule and give an insight into the lessons learned from this process. We also show how the process of requirement verification for this complex system was managed and documented. We describe how the risks associated with a single long duration test at operating temperature were controlled so that the complete suite of environmental tests could be used to build up a full picture of instrument compliance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 September 2012
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 8449, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy V, 844909 (25 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925480
Show Author Affiliations
Paul Eccleston, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Alistair Glasse, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Timothy Grundy, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Örs Hunor Detre, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (Germany)
Brian O'Sullivan, EADS Astrium Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Bryan Shaughnessy, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Jon Sykes, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
John Thatcher, EADS Astrium Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Helen Walker, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Martyn Wells, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Gillian Wright, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
David Wright, EADS Astrium Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8449:
Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy V
George Z. Angeli; Philippe Dierickx, Editor(s)

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