The bridge between engineering and science
LASP’s Calibration and Testing Group serves as a bridge between the science and the engineering realms and is often the first stop on the way to instrument development. Our “Cal Group” engineers have the expertise to recommend the architecture for an instrument, as well as to identify the specific detectors and optics that will be the instrument’s “eyes” for gathering crucial mission data.
Our institute’s Cal Group functions by conceptually pulling together the mechanical, optical, and electronic needs of detector systems, which are at the core of the science and therefore drive the rest of the instrument design. The team then works in collaboration with each of the other engineering groups to optimize the entire instrument’s design to meet science requirements while keeping within other constraints such as mass, power, volume, schedule, and budget.
Once the instrument is assembled and ready to be tuned, LASP’s engineers confirm the performance of the various components through a variety of testing to ensure the detectors are looking at the desired ranges of the light spectrum and that the mirrors are properly aligned.
After a last round of finishing activities, such as shake testing and time in the bake-out chambers, LASP’s Cal Group puts each instrument through exhaustive performance testing to ensure it will function as desired once it reaches its science target.