The LRS double prism assembly to be flown on the James Webb Space Telescope and host galaxies of active galactic nuclei in the near infrared


The work presented in my thesis covers two aspects of modern astronomy: Observations and instrumentation. Part I of this thesis addresses the design, the development and the qualification of the Low Resolution Spectroscopy Double Prism Assembly (LRSDPA). From an instrumentational point of view, the purpose of the LRSDPA is to make an integration of two prisms, made of Germanium and Zincsulfide, into the imaging module of the mid infrared instrument of the James Webb Space Telescope possible. My design of the LRSDPA answers to several challenging specifications, joining together available envelope, mechanical, thermal, optical and alignment aspects. Both prisms are mounted separately onto a holder via a semi-kinematic interface. The Aluminium components of the demonstration, qualification and flight model all have been manufactured at the mechanical workshop of the 1st Institute of Physics. As it is demanded of all space equipment, the function and performance of the LRSDPA has to be thoroughly demonstrated. The qualification campaign that was conducted in collaboration with the Centre Spatial de Liège, has just been brought to a successful finish. A brief introduction to the James Webb Space Telescope and its mid infrared instrument are given in Chapters 1 and 2. Chapter 3 then describes in detail the scientific capabilities, the design and the qualification of the LRSDPA. The low resolution spectroscopy mode will provide prism slit spectroscopy at a resolution of R=100 and cover the wavelength range from 5æm-10æm. This mode is particularly aiming at spectroscopic analyses of very low surface brightness objects, such as the first light-emitting galaxies that re-ionized the universe shortly after the big bang ...
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