SIRTF-CTA optical performance test

J. P. Schwenker, B. R. Brandi, W. L. Burmester, J. L. Hora, A. K. Mainzer, P. C. Quigley, J. E. Van Cleve

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper describes the "End to End" optical test conducted on the Space InfraRed Telescope Facility (SIRTF) Cryogenic Telescope Assembly (CTA) in 2001. It was critical to verify SIRTF's optical functionality and quality under optical and thermal conditions that as much as possible simulated the flight environment. The Liquid Nitrogen cooled "Brutus" chamber at Ball Aerospace was the test facility. Flight-like self cooling, thermal blanketing, and auxiliary cooling loops allowed the assembly to reach temperatures close to orbital conditions. (25-5 K) Introducing optical sources at the SIRTF focal plane allowed the telescope to perform as the collimating source. A motorized and cryogenically characterized reflection flat was used to direct the refocused images of test sources to visible and IR focal planes in SIRTF's Multi-Instrument Chamber. A sequence of tests was performed to gather data on system focus position, image stability, telescope wavefront and instrument assembly confocality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-317
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventIR Space Telescopes and Instruments - waikoloa, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 24 2002Aug 28 2002


  • Cryogenic
  • Focus
  • Infrared
  • Liquid helium
  • Telescope
  • Thermal vac
  • Wavefront

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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