Ground testing equipment

Before a space telescope is launched, it is essential to ensure the performance of the optical instrument. Safran Electronics & Defense designs and manufactures large ground testing equipment to allow these checks to be carried out. 

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Ground testing equipment


Safran Electronics & Defense provides ground testing equipment to check the performances of the optical instrument, such as master segments, collimators, off-axis parabolic mirrors. These made-to-order solutions constitute the chain for checking optical performance and are designed specifically for "vacuum" or "cryogenic" applications depending on the test conditions and the specificities of the mission. The master segment is the ultimate reference for checking performance, allowing an instrument designed to target a star or distant object to be checked by interferometric testing. The test collimator generates a flat wave to simulate a distant star or infinitely extended object. By injecting the beam into the instrument, complete, perfectly representative functional tests can be conducted, including the chain of electronic image detection. 


Safran Electronics & Defense master sectors and test collimators are tried and tested means of checking the effectiveness of optical equipment.

Master segments:

  • up to 120 cm in aperture
  • precisely positioned in a support cradle, along the optical axis
  • can be turned to help conduct the operations determining the final shape of the part

Test collimators:

  • wavefront quality
  • mechanical and thermal stability
  • vacuum and/or cryogenic compatibility
  • weight and compactness
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