Raman Laser Spectrometer optical head: flight model performance verification

Santiago, A.;Ramos, G.;Sanz-Palomino, M.;Gordillo, C.;Cabrero, J.;Moral, A. G.;Prieto, J. A. R.;Canora, C. P.;Belenguer, T.;Canchal, R.;Gallego, P.;Escribano, D.;López-Reyes, G.;Rull, F. 2018. Raman Laser Spectrometer optical head: flight model performance verification. Conference on Space Telescopes and Instrumentation – Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 10698, DOI: 10.1117/12.2313462

In the framework of the ESA’s Aurora Exploration Programme and, in particular, of the ExoMars mission, the Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) will be in charge of performing out planetary Raman spectroscopy for the first time. The instrument is located inside the Rover at the Analytical Drawer (ALD) and will analyze powdered samples obtained from the Martian subsurface in order to determine the geochemistry content and elemental composition of the minerals under study.

After the RLS instrument successful qualification, the Flight Model (FM) development and the acceptance verification activities started. Among the different units RLS is composed on, i.e. its three main units that are interconnected by optical fibers and electrical harness, iOH (Internal Optical Head), SPU (Spectrometer Unit) and ICEU (Instrument control and Excitation Unit) which also contains the Raman excitation laser diode, iOH FM information can be found in this paper. RLS iOH unit is in charge of focusing the Raman excitation signal onto the sample, receiving the Raman signal emitted by the sample and focusing this signal in the output optical fiber that is directly connected to SPU unit.

As for the rest of RLS instrument FM subunits, and before their final assembly and system level tests, RLS iOH FM exhaustive and complete characterization process was carried out, not only at room conditions but also at relevant environmental conditions: vacuum condition along the operational temperature range with acceptance margins (from -50 to 8 degrees C). In this paper, and after to carry out the RLS iOH FM proper integration and alignment process, the activities accomplished during the performance verification and the obtained results are reported on.

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