Toward ARIEL’s primary mirror – UCL Discovery

Tozzi, Andrea;

Brucalassi, Anna;

Canestrari, Rodolfo;

Chioetto, Paolo;

Del Vecchio, Ciro;

Carbonaro, Luca;

Cortecchia, Fausto;

Zuppella, Paola; + view all

Tozzi, Andrea;

Brucalassi, Anna;

Canestrari, Rodolfo;

Chioetto, Paolo;

Del Vecchio, Ciro;

Carbonaro, Luca;

Cortecchia, Fausto;

Diolaiti, Emiliano;

Eccleston, Paul;

Falcini, Gilberto;

Ferruzzi, Debora;

Gottini, Daniele;

Guerriero, Elisa;

Iuzzolino, Marcella;

Lilli, Riccardo;

Lombini, Matteo;

Malaguti, Giuseppe;

Micela, Giuseppina;

Miceli, Federico;

Morgante, Gianluca;

Pace, Emanuele;

Pascale, Enzo;

Piazzolla, Raffaele;

Preti, Giampaolo;

Salatti, Mario;

Scippa, Antonio;

Tinetti, Giovanna;

Tommasi, Elisabetta;

Vernani, Dervis;

Zuppella, Paola;

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Toward ARIEL’s primary mirror.

Proceedings of the Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave.



Ariel (Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large Survey) is the adopted M4 mission of 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.
The Ariel Telescope consists of a primary parabolic mirror (M1) with an elliptical aperture of 1.1 m of major axis and
0.7 m of minor axis, followed by a hyperbolic secondary (M2) , a parabolic recollimating tertiary (M3) and a flat folding
mirror (M4).
The Primary mirror is a very innovative device made of lightened aluminum. Aluminum mirrors for cryogenic
instruments and for space application are already in use, but never before now it has been attempted the creation of such
a large mirror made entirely of aluminum: this means that the production process must be completely revised and finetuned, finding new solutions, studying the thermal processes and paying a great care to the quality check. By the way, the advantages are many: thermal stabilization is simpler than with mirrors made of other materials based on
glass or composite materials, the cost of the material is negligeable, the shape may be free and the possibility of making
all parts of the telescope, from optical surfaces to the structural parts, of the same material guarantees a perfect alignment
at whichever temperature.
This paper describes the methodology and preliminary results of this manufacturing process and discusses future steps.

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