11, April 2016

ESA Open Invitation To Tender AO8583

Open Date: 21/03/2016

Closing Date: 30/05/2016 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED

Reference Nr.: 16.164.01

Prog. Ref.: CTP – General

Budget Ref.: E/0401-01B – CTP – General


Tender Type: C

Price Range: > 500 KEURO

Products: 2I3f

Techology Domains: 16AI 16AII

Establishment: ESTEC

Directorate: Directorate of Science

Department: Future Missions Office

Contract Officer: Weihert, Beatrice

Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply

Last Update Date: 06/04/2016

Update Reason: Loaded a new Clarification (English version)

Gravitational wave detectors measure the change in distance between two reference points in space with a precision of a few picometres by using laser interferometry. The reference points are housed in separate spacecraft that have a separation of the order of two million kilometers. The telescope for sending and receiving the laser light forms a critical part of the interferometric optical path and as such it has to fulfil stringent requirements in terms of dimensional stability and production of scattered light. In addition, a certain quality and stability of the optical wave front has to be ensured, translating into requirements for the shape and stability of the optical surfaces. Telescopes employed in science missions can usually be characterized by their optical aberrations. As telescopes used in gravitational wave detectors have to be designed for imaging truncated Gaussian beams in contrast to the more usual incoherent light sources, concepts derived from geometrical optics might have to be modified and cannot necessarily be used for trading-off telescope architectures. An analysis of the telescope in terms of Gaussian beams is therefore required. This activity shall address the design of a metrology telescope meeting the requirements of a Gravitational Wave Observatory mission. The design trade-off shall consider the possible architectures which include 1) the option of a wide field-of-view telescope (>1.5 degrees) that would allow to keep the far satellite in the field of view without repointing the telescopes and 2) a narrow field of view telescope that would need to be pointed. The activity shall not address the pointing mechanism for the two options. The design shall be supported by appropriate analysis whilst considering the mission environmental requirements. In addition to the telescope design, the activity shall also identify the ground support equipment required for test and verification of an eventual telescope prototype. Testing the optical characteristics of the telescope on ground requires assessing the quality of the wave front in the far field (~ million km distance) for the sent light, and the quality of the imaging of such a wave front onto the photo detector for the received light. The activity shall produce a design and development plan towards the flight models and a proposal for the full development.

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