Crystal Instruments has received the impressive honor of supplying a 64 channel data acquisition system, the Spider-80X, for testing of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope project.
All devices have a definitive operational timeline and unfortunately, this does not exclude space telescopes. It will be bittersweet for all space enthusiasts to see the Hubble Space telescope retire, but an inevitable replacement for a most impressive 25-year-old technological achievement of modern society is looming.
Public denial aside, NASA has already begun preparing a replacement called the James Webb Space Telescope or JWST, expected of similar greatness for generations to come.
Quite a great deal of development and testing has already been carried out at the Johnson Space Center, including vibration measurements. Crystal Instruments has received the proud honor of supplying a 64 channel data acquisition system, the Spider-80X, for those endeavors. The system will be responsible for measuring vibration levels of the structure that will house the extremely sensitive optic system of the JWST telescope in a clean cryogenic chamber room.
This wouldn’t be the first time NASA teamed up with Crystal Instruments on this massive project. Earlier this year, preliminary testing was completed through Crystal Instruments’ rental program with The Modal Shop. The team rented a similar DAQ system for the OGSE2 test to understand the initial vibration levels of the Pathfinder telescope structure inside a cryogenic chamber. The optics of the telescope are so sensitive, that even vibration levels in the nano-meter range from machinery outside the chamber such as cryo-pumps, air handlers, water chiller pumps, etc., have the potential to affect their performance. The isolation mounting inside the chamber was not perfect at dampening the micro vibrations the first time around. Due to initial vibration environment findings, major changes were implemented to the design of the isolation structure in the chamber. The Crystal Instruments DAQ system was used in congruence with Kistler’s custom signal conditioners and cryogenic accelerometers.
The success of those results assured Crystal Instruments’ candidacy for continued testing on the 8 billion dollar project. The entire Crystal Instruments organization has been extremely excited about the participation.
- Find out more about Crystal Instruments’ high channel data acquisition products here.
- For sound and vibration instruments rental inquiries, please contact our affiliate The Modal Shop here.
- Find more information on Kistler’s measurement systems and sensors here.
- Hubble Space Telescope and amazing images it took: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/202924-the-25-best-images-from-the-hubble-telescopes-25-years-in-space
- Overview of the JWST composite backplane and Pathfinder in particular: http://jwst.nasa.gov/backplane.html
- Details of Pathfinder’s successful first super cold optical test: http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasas-webb-pathfinder-telescope-successfully-completes-first-super-cold-optical-test