Daily Image

Click here or on the picture for a full size image.

Cryogenic testing for MATISSE

Submitter: Felix Bettonvil
Description: MATISSE, the mid-infrared interferometric spectrograph and imager for the VLTI, is an instrument that is designed to combine coherently the light of up to four telescopes of ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). It emulates the aperture of an up to 200-m telescope in the 2.8-5 and 8-13 micrometer wavelength bands at spectral resolutions between 30 and 5000 and spatial resolutions of the order of 5 milliarcsec. With these characteristics MATISSE is extremely well suited for study of Young Stellar Objects (YSOs), extra-solar planets and Active galactic nuclei (AGNs), asymptotic giant branch stars (AGBs) and planetary nebulae.

MATISSE is now in the manufacturing and integration phase with NOVA-ASTRON being responsible for the Cold Optical Bench (COB). It is the most complex part of MATISSE: on top of the huge amount of optical components (200+), it also includes 34 mechanisms, that are being used for selection of filters, polarizers, slits and toggling between operational modes. About half of these mechanisms are powered with cryogenic stepper motors.

Last week the stepper motors were tested in NOVA-ASTRON's test cryostat. The picture shows the interior of the -235 degree Celsius cold refrigerator with the experimental test setup. Temperature sensors measure the temperature increase with the motor under load. The upside down 'hammer' is a counter weight that is used to determine the maximum torque.
Copyright: NOVA Optical and Infrared Instrumentation Division at ASTRON
  Follow us on Twitter
Please feel free to submit an image using the Submit page.