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The telescope assembly of the Ariel space mission

E. Pace, A. Tozzi, M. Abreu, G. Alonso, B. Barroqueiro, G. Bianucci, A. Bocchieri, D. Brienza, A. Brucalassi, M. Burresi, R. Canestrari, L. Carbonaro, J. Castanheira, P. Chioetto, J. Colomé Ferrer, C. Compostizo, F. Cortecchia, F. D'Anca, C. del Vecchio, E. Diolaiti, P. Eccleston, S. Fahmy, A. Fernandez Soler, D. Ferruzzi, M. Focardi, S. Freitas, C. A. P. Bengaly, A. Garcia Perez, D. Gottini, S. Grella, G. Grisoni, E. Guerriero, J. P. Halain, M. Hellin, L. Ianni, M. Iuzzolino, D. Jollet, M. Lombini, R. Machado, G. Malaguti, A. Mazzoli, G. Micela, F. Miceli, G. Mondello, G. Morgante, L. V. Mugnai, L. Naponiello, V. Noce, E. Pascale, J. Perez Alvarez, R. Piazzolla, C. Pompei, G. Preti, S. Roose, M. Salatti, J. Salvignol, A. Scippa, C. Serre, C. Simoncelli, F. Teixeira, L. Terenzi, G. Tinetti, L. Tommasi, E. Tommasi Di Vigano, B. Vandenbussche, D. Vernani, P. Zuppella

Ariel (Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large Survey) is the adopted M4 mission in the framework of the ESA “Cosmic Vision” program. Its purpose is to conduct a survey of the atmospheres of known exoplanets through transit spectroscopy. Launch is scheduled for 2029. Ariel scientific payload consists of an off-axis, unobscured Cassegrain telescope feeding a set of photometers and spectrometers in the waveband between 0.5 and 7.8 µm and operating at cryogenic temperatures (55 K). The Telescope Assembly is based on an innovative fully-aluminum design to tolerate thermal variations avoiding impacts on the optical performance; it consists of a primary parabolic mirror with an elliptical aperture of 1.1 m of major axis, followed by a hyperbolic secondary that is mounted on a refocusing system, a parabolic re-collimating tertiary and a flat folding mirror directing the output beam parallel to the optical bench. An innovative mounting system based on 3 flexure-hinges supports the primary mirror on one side of the optical bench. The instrument bay on the other side of the optical bench houses the Ariel IR Spectrometer (AIRS) and the Fine Guidance System / NIR Spectrometer (FGS/NIRSpec). The Telescope Assembly is in phase B2 towards the Preliminary Design Review to start the fabrication of the structural model; some components, i.e., the primary mirror, its mounting system and the refocusing mechanism, are undergoing further development activities to increase their readiness level. This paper describes the design and development of the ARIEL Telescope Assembly.

Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Laura E. Coyle, Shuji Matsuura, Marshall D. Perrin

Proceedings of the SPIE
Volume 12180
2022 August

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia