The Amon-Ra instrument is the main optical payload of the proposed EARTHSHINE satellite. It consists of a visible wavelength instrument and an IR energy channel instrument to measure a global Earth albedo. We report a new sensitivity technique for efficient alignment of the visible channel instrument. Whilst the sensitivity table method has been widely used in the alignment process, the straightforward application of the method tends to produce slow process convergence because of shop floor alignment practice uncertainties. We investigated the error sources commonly associated with alignment practices and used them when estimating the Zernike polynomial coefficients. Aided with single center field wavefront error (WFE) measurements and their corresponding Zernike polynomial coefficients, the method involves the construction and use of an experimental, instead of simulated, sensitivity table to be used for alignment state estimations. A trial alignment experiment for the Amon Ra optical system was performed and the results show that 71.28 nm in rms WFE was achieved only after two alignment iterations. This tends to demonstrate its superior performance to the conventional method.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)