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R and D Projects

Space Related Activities


NEO has been actively engaged in space related projects since the late 1980`s. The work has included consulting work, feasibility studies, breadboarding and product development of sub-units and -systems for spaceborne instruments. The first major project was a feasibility study of a High Resolution Imaging Interferometer (HRII) for ESTEC, where NEO was the prime contractor. We have for some projects been working directly with ESTEC, whereas we in other projects have been partners with or subcontractors to major European Space Companies, such as DASA, Aerospatiale and Alenia. The most important projects are summarised below:

High Resolution Imaging Interferometer (HRII) (1989)

Feasibility study resulting in a proposed Imaging Interferometer meeting all basic specifications and requirements.
Estec Contract Number 7943/88/NL/JS

High Spectral Resolution Sounder (HSRS) (1990)

Feasibility study made by Aerospatiale as prime with NEO and Officine Galileo as subcontractors.
Estec Contract Number 8575/89/NL/JS

Diode Pumped Nd:YAG laser for spaceborne applications

This project was done with Alenia as prime with NEO, ENOSA, Thomson Hybrides and Quantel as subcontractors. NEOs task was to study critical technologies and do the necessary breadboarding.

Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) (1993)

Due to NEOs long experience in working with long range IR detectors NEO was tasked by DASA to assist in the assessment, verification and selection of the infrared detectors for MIPAS.

Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) (1997)

Following the successful selection of IR detectors for MIPAS NEO was selected to develop the frequency reference source (ODS) for MIPAS, based on the use of a frequency stabilised diode laser operating at a wavelength of 1300 nm. NEO performed all breadboarding and product development, and has in addition participated in the detailed design as well as in test and verification of the Engineering and Flight Models.

Wavefront distortion measurement The image to the left shows a step in a wavefront distortion measurement for a laser beam used in an experiment related to the MIPAS project. (Before phase unwrapping).

Hyperspectral Imager for Small Satellites (HISS) (1997)

NEO was in December 1995 tasked by ESTEC to carry out a Definition Study of a Hyperspectral Imager for Small Satellites (HISS). The final report was completed as planned in February 1997. HISS is an imaging interferometer measuring the ground reflectance with a spectral resolution of approx. 10 nm in the visible and short wave infrared (450 - 2350nm). The aim of the study is to establish instrument feasibility, a preliminary instrument design, and finally a proposed development plan leading to a Flight Model of the selected baseline. The study includes assessment, trade-off studies and selection of spectrometers, collecting optics, focal plane assemblies including detectors and thermal controls, signal conditioning and processing electronics, data handling, calibration devices etc.

The image to the right shows an artistic view of the HISS instrument. The green part on the top left side is a radiator for passive cooling of the SWIR detector array. The HISS instrument used identical mirrors and identical collecting optics and collimators for both VNIR and SWIR. The prisms, however, were different. The opto-mechanical design was based on two "pipelines" for SWIR and VNIR respectively as can clearly be seen from the figure.

The bottom part is the calibration wheel comprising filter, shutter, diffusers and the aperture for normal operation.

HISS 3D Mechnical Design

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