May 2016: vHS is currently developing the LED calibration unit (NI-CU) for the Near Infrared Spectrometer and Photometer (NISP) instrument for the ESA Euclid Mission. The Structural Thermal Model was delivered at the end of last year and has now been integrated into the NISP Development Model. The photograph shows the calibration unit (NI-CU) with gold plating on the main NISP structure (black).
The development of the NI-CU requires the manufacture and qualification of Infrared LEDs to be operated in a space environment at cryogenic temperatures. The use of LEDs sources is a novel approach replacing the traditional technology of tungsten filament lamps and integrating spheres. Our new solution provides a more compact and mass/power efficient method. In order to qualify LEDs for use in space, significant testing of LED performance at cold temperatures must be undertaken as well as more traditional component testing. Special test systems have been developed by vH&S to allow for cryogenic performance testing of multiple parts.
Flight units are due to be delivered next year. The work is performed under contract to our customer Max Planck Institut für Astronomie and is funded by DLR.