G. Ramos , A. Valverde Guijarro, M. Rodrigo, M. Sierra, L. Gómez, E. Borreguero, L. Álvarez, A. Manjón, A. Balado, D. Barrado. 2019. Planetary Transits and Oscillation of Stars (PLATO) Focal Plane Assembly (FPA): Prototype assembly and integration verification. UV/ Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts IX, DOI: 10.1117/12.2530549
PLATO, PLAnetary Transits and Oscillation of stars, is an ESA mission mainly devoted to survey the Galaxy searching for and characterizing Earth-like exoplanets, and their host stars. This will be achieved using continuous and extremely accurate photometry for both exoplanetary transits and asteroseismology analysis. Current design plans to mount 26 cameras in the same instrument bench in order to cover a large field of view with the highest possible photon statistics. Each PLATO camera consists of the telescope (TOU, Telescope Optical Unit), the focal plane assembly (FPA), and the detector and camera read out electronics (FEE). Four CCDs (Charge Coupled Devices) will be included in each FPA, which implies a really delicate assembly and integration verification (AIV) process due to the stringent scientific requirements breakdown into hard engineering ones (among others, CCDs co-alignment in terms of tip and tilt and roll with respect to the optical axis).
In the following lines, the FPA current opto-mechanical design is briefly presented and an integration process conceptual proposal is reported on, discussing the error budgets associated to the main requirements to be verified during FPAs AIV, and the main results obtained during the prototype first AIV round.