At NII OEP a complex of facilities intended for optical, thermal vacuum, light, mechanical and environmental tests and updating of large lenses and optoelectronic devices and systems based on them has been created.
The facilities provide:
- Assembly and alignment of high-resolution lenses with a light diameter to 1500 mm in the visible and middle IR spectral regions;
- Simulation of the object-background conditions for carrying out optical-engineering tests with the aid of the Earth and solar simulators of optical radiation , simulation of the objects being observed etc.;
- Simulation of thermal fields in the range from 330 to 20K in vacuum chambers with volume of 1 to 150 m3 and pressures as low as 10-7 torr to investigate the complex effect of thermal fields in the vacuum environment;
- Simulation and reproduction of impact and vibration loads on optoelectronic devices arising in shipment and in flight in a wide frequency and load band;
- Accelerated environmental tests, including exposure to heat and cold, to humidity and to salty fogs, to drops in pressure and solar radiation;
- Simulation of optoelectronic devices under high background light levels;
The facilities intended for testing of the space-based optoelectronic devices include simulators of the telemetry channels and communication lines, instrumentation for display of information, computing systems, as well as software. The unique test-facilities make it possible to study the full characteristics of devices under conditions close to the real intended environment.
Such a combined and well thought-out testing cycle has been found to be necessary to ensure that large optoelectronic devices meet their performance requirements. Several generations of optical and optoelectronic devices have been built which have successfully been launched in space. Among those are the photographic systems and thermal direction-finding instrumentation, which are now regularly used operationally in space missions.