During cryogenic vacuum testing of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM), the global alignment of the ISIM with respect to the designed interface of the JWST optical telescope element (OTE) will be measured through a series of optical characterization tests. These tests will determine the locations and orientations of the JWST science instrument projected focal surfaces and entrance pupils with respect to their corresponding OTE optical interfaces. If any optical performance non-compliances are identified, the ISIM will be adjusted to improve its performance. In order to understand how to manipulate the ISIM’s degrees of freedom properly and to prepare for the ISIM flight model testing, a series of opticalmechanical analyses have been completed to develop and identify the best approaches for bringing a non-compliant ISIM element into compliance.

In order for JWST to meet its observatory- level optical requirements and ambitious science goals, the ISIM element has to meet approximately 150 separate optical requirements. Successfully achieving many of those optical requirements depends on the proper alignment of the ISIM element with respect to the OTE. To verify that the ISIM element will meet its optical requirements, a series of cryogenic vacuum tests will be conducted with an OTE Simulator (OSIM).

An optical Ray Trace and Geometry Model tool was developed to help solve the multi-dimensional alignment problem. The tool allows the user to determine how best to adjust the alignment of the JWST ISIM with respect to the ideal telescope interfaces so that the approximately 150 ISIM optical performance requirements can be satisfied. This capability has not existed previously.

This work was done by Brent Bos of Goddard Space Flight Center. GSC-16698-1

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the October, 2013 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

Read more articles from this issue here.

Read more articles from the archives here.