Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series
Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation II
[en] Coronagraph ; straylight ; calibration
[en] The Heliospheric Imager (HI) is part of the SECCHI suite of instruments on-board the two STEREO observatories launched in October 2006. The two HI instruments provide stereographic image pairs of solar coronal plasma and coronal mass ejections (CME) over a field of view ranging from 13 to 330 R[SUB]0[/SUB]. The HI instrument is a combination of two refractive optical systems with a two stage multi-vane baffle system. The key challenge of the instrument design is the rejection of the solar disk light by the front baffle, with total straylight attenuation at the detector level of the order of 10[SUP]-13[/SUP] to 10[SUP]-15[/SUP]. Optical systems and baffles were designed and tested to reach the required rejection. This paper presents the pre-flight optical tests performed under vacuum on the two HI flight models in flight temperature conditions. These tests included an end-to-end straylight verification of the front baffle efficiency, a co-alignment and an optical calibration of the optical systems. A comparison of the theoretical predictions of the instrument response and performance with the calibration results is presented. The instrument in-flight photometric and stray light performance are also presented and compared with the expected results.