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See detailORIGIN: metal creation and evolution from the cosmic dawn
den Herder, Jan-Willem; Piro, Luigi; Ohashi, Takaya et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2012), 34

ORIGIN is a proposal for the M3 mission call of ESA aimed at the study of metal creation from the epoch of cosmic dawn. Using high-spectral resolution in the soft X-ray band, ORIGIN will be able to ... [more ▼]

ORIGIN is a proposal for the M3 mission call of ESA aimed at the study of metal creation from the epoch of cosmic dawn. Using high-spectral resolution in the soft X-ray band, ORIGIN will be able to identify the physical conditions of all abundant elements between C and Ni to red-shifts of z = 10, and beyond. The mission will answer questions such as: When were the first metals created? How does the cosmic metal content evolve? Where do most of the metals reside in the Universe? What is the role of metals in structure formation and evolution? To reach out to the early Universe ORIGIN will use Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) to study their local environments in their host galaxies. This requires the capability to slew the satellite in less than a minute to the GRB location. By studying the chemical composition and properties of clusters of galaxies we can extend the range of exploration to lower redshifts ( z ˜0.2). For this task we need a high-resolution spectral imaging instrument with a large field of view. Using the same instrument, we can also study the so far only partially detected baryons in the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM). The less dense part of the WHIM will be studied using absorption lines at low redshift in the spectra for GRBs. The ORIGIN mission includes a Transient Event Detector (coded mask with a sensitivity of 0.4 photon/cm[SUP]2[/SUP]/s in 10 s in the 5-150 keV band) to identify and localize 2000 GRBs over a five year mission, of which ˜65 GRBs have a redshift >7. The Cryogenic Imaging Spectrometer, with a spectral resolution of 2.5 eV, a field of view of 30 arcmin and large effective area below 1 keV has the sensitivity to study clusters up to a significant fraction of the virial radius and to map the denser parts of the WHIM (factor 30 higher than achievable with current instruments). The payload is complemented by a Burst InfraRed Telescope to enable onboard red-shift determination of GRBs (hence securing proper follow up of high-z bursts) and also probes the mildly ionized state of the gas. Fast repointing is achieved by a dedicated Controlled Momentum Gyro and a low background is achieved by the selected low Earth orbit. [less ▲]

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See detailTests with a Carlina-type diluted telescope. Primary coherencing
Le Coroller, H.; Dejonghe, J.; Regal, X. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 539

Aims: Studies are under way to propose a new generation of post-VLTI interferometers. The Carlina concept studied at the Haute-Provence Observatory is one of the proposed solutions. It consists in an ... [more ▼]

Aims: Studies are under way to propose a new generation of post-VLTI interferometers. The Carlina concept studied at the Haute-Provence Observatory is one of the proposed solutions. It consists in an optical interferometer configured like a diluted version of the Arecibo radio telescope: above the diluted primary mirror made of fixed cospherical segments, a helium balloon (or cables suspended between two mountains), carries a gondola containing the focal optics. Since 2003, we have been building a technical demonstrator of this diluted telescope. First fringes were obtained in May 2004 with two closely-spaced primary segments and a CCD on the focal gondola. We have been testing the whole optical train with three primary mirrors. The main aim of this article is to describe the metrology that we have conceived, and tested under the helium balloon to align the primary mirrors separate by 5-10 m on the ground with an accuracy of a few microns. Methods: Getting stellar fringes using delay lines is the main difficulty for astronomical interferometers. Carlina does not use delay lines, but the primary segments have to be positioned on a sphere i.e. coherencing the primary mirrors. As described in this paper, we used a supercontinuum laser source to coherence the primary segments. We characterize the Carlina's performances by testing its whole optical train: servo loop, metrology, and the focal gondola. Results: The servo loop stabilizes the mirror of metrology under the helium balloon with an accuracy better than 5 mm while it moves horizontally by 30 cm in open loop by 10-20 km/h of wind. We have obtained the white fringes of metrology; i.e., the three mirrors are aligned (cospherized) with an accuracy of ≈1 μm. We show data proving the stability of fringes over 15 min, therefore providing evidence that the mechanical parts are stabilized within a few microns. This is an important step that demonstrates the feasibility of building a diluted telescope using cables strained between cliffs or under a balloon. Carlina, like the MMT or LBT, could be one of the first members of a new class of telescopes named diluted telescopes. [less ▲]

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