On-ground characterization of Rosetta/VIRTIS-M. I. Spectral and geometrical calibrations

Computer Science – Performance

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Infrared Spectrometers, Auxiliary Equipment, And Techniques, Standards And Calibration, Astronomical And Space-Research Instrumentation

Scientific paper

The complete characterization of complex imaging spectrometers, such as VIRTIS-M (visual infrared thermal imaging spectrometer) aboard the Rosetta mission, requires a detailed and prolonged activity starting with the instrument integration and continuing during the entire operational life of the experiment. In this article we report the main experimental activities realized during the on-ground characterizations to evaluate the spectral and geometric performances in order to check the conformance with the technical requirements derived from the scientific goals of the experiment. Spectral calibrations allow to confirm instrumental spectral range, resolution, and sampling; geometric calibrations are necessary to estimate the pixel and slit functions, field of view extension, and possible optical aberrations. Two separate sections are dedicated to each one of these subjects, including the strategy followed to prepare measurements, a basic description of the on-ground experimental setups, and the analysis of the collected data.

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