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Prospect for UV observations from the Moon. III. Assembly and ground calibration of Lunar Ultraviolet Cosmic Imager (LUCI)

  • Joice MathewEmail author
  • B. G. Nair
  • Margarita Safonova
  • S. Sriram
  • Ajin Prakash
  • Mayuresh Sarpotdar
  • S. Ambily
  • K. Nirmal
  • A. G. Sreejith
  • Jayant Murthy
  • P. U. Kamath
  • S. Kathiravan
  • B. R. Prasad
  • Noah Brosch
  • Norbert Kappelmann
  • Nirmal Suraj Gadde
  • Rahul Narayan
Original Article

Abstract

The Lunar Ultraviolet Cosmic Imager (LUCI) is a near-ultraviolet (NUV) telescope with all-spherical mirrors, designed and built to fly as a scientific payload on a lunar mission with Team Indus—the original Indian entry to the Google Lunar X-Prize. Observations from the Moon provide a unique opportunity of a stable platform with an unobstructed view of the space at all wavelengths due to the absence of atmosphere and ionosphere. LUCI is an 80 mm aperture telescope, with a field of view of \(27.6^{\prime}\times 20.4^{\prime }\) and a spatial resolution of \(5^{\prime \prime}\), will scan the sky in the NUV (200–320 nm) domain to look for transient sources. We describe here the assembly, alignment, and calibration of the complete instrument. LUCI is now in storage in a class 1000 clean room and will be delivered to our flight partner in readiness for flight.

Keywords

Space instrumentation Optical payload Assembly and integration Calibration UV astronomy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the Team Indus for the flight opportunity and for the fruitful discussions regarding the LUCI payload. We thank all the staff at the M.G.K Menon laboratory (CREST) for helping us with storage and assembly of payload components in the clean room environment. Part of this research has been supported by the Department of Science and Technology (Government of India) under Grant EMR/2016/001450/PHY.

Some of the data presented in this paper were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contract NAS5-26555. Support for MAST for non-Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data is provided by the NASA Office of Space Science via grant NNX09AF08G and by other grants and contracts.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joice Mathew
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • B. G. Nair
    • 1
  • Margarita Safonova
    • 1
  • S. Sriram
    • 1
  • Ajin Prakash
    • 1
  • Mayuresh Sarpotdar
    • 1
  • S. Ambily
    • 1
  • K. Nirmal
    • 1
  • A. G. Sreejith
    • 3
  • Jayant Murthy
    • 1
  • P. U. Kamath
    • 1
  • S. Kathiravan
    • 1
  • B. R. Prasad
    • 1
  • Noah Brosch
    • 4
  • Norbert Kappelmann
    • 5
  • Nirmal Suraj Gadde
    • 6
  • Rahul Narayan
    • 6
  1. 1.Indian Institute of AstrophysicsBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.University of CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  3. 3.Space Research InstituteAustrian Academy of SciencesGrazAustria
  4. 4.The Wise Observatory and the Dept. of Physics and AstronomyTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  5. 5.Kepler Center for Astro and Particle Physics, Institute of Astronomy and AstrophysicsUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  6. 6.Team IndusBangaloreIndia

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