News › Bal­zers Optics · Opti­cal fil­ters launch with space telescope EUCLID

On July 1, 2023, the Euro­pean Space Agency’s EUCLID telescope will launch from Cape Cana­ve­ral on a SpaceX Fal­con 9 rocket. The mission’s goal is to study dark mat­ter and create a map of the uni­verse with time as the fourth dimension.

EUCLID beam splitter

Telescope images will be ana­ly­zed with two sci­en­ti­fic instru­ments in the visi­ble (VIS) and near-infrared spec­tral regi­ons (NISP). Mater­ion Bal­zers Optics (Optics Bal­zers Jena GmbH) deve­lo­ped and manu­fac­tu­red the opti­cal coa­ting for major opti­cal components.

The VIS instru­ment con­sists of a camera that mea­su­res the shape and posi­tion of the gala­xies, while the NISP instru­ment uses the mea­su­red reds­hift of the light to deter­mine the distances of the galaxies.

In order to dis­tri­bute the inci­dent light to both instru­ments, a beam split­ter is nee­ded that reflects the visi­ble light wit­hout opti­cal los­ses as far as pos­si­ble, allows the infrared light to pass wit­hout los­ses, and at the same time avo­ids any dis­tor­tion of the wave­front of the light. In Jena, seve­ral years of work have gone into deve­lo­ping a coa­ting for this pur­pose using magnet­ron sput­ter tech­no­logy, which is at the limit of what is tech­no­lo­gi­cally fea­si­ble. The cur­vat­ure of the sur­face with a dia­me­ter of about 10 cm was not allo­wed to exceed a value of 5 nano­me­ters (5 mil­lionths of a mil­li­me­ter) after coa­ting. All func­tion-cri­ti­cal pro­per­ties had to be demons­tra­ted not only at room tem­pe­ra­ture, but also at the ope­ra­ting tem­pe­ra­ture of ‑170°C.

The EUCLID telescope’s NISP spec­tro­me­ter has the lar­gest field of view ever deve­lo­ped for an infrared instru­ment in space. Mater­ion Bal­zers Optics in Jena sup­plied a total of 7 dif­fe­rent opti­cal fil­ters for it, which help to ana­lyze the light from deep space.

Mater­ion Bal­zers Optics has been a lea­ding glo­bal manu­fac­tu­rer of cus­to­mi­zed opti­cal coa­tings and com­pon­ents for the pho­to­nics indus­try for over 70 years.
As a high-tech com­pany with five manu­fac­tu­ring loca­ti­ons world­wide, we focus on a variety of mar­kets inclu­ding Auto­mo­tive, Con­su­mer, Defense, Indus­try, Life Sci­ence, Light­ing, Semi­con­duc­tors and Space


More infor­ma­tion about EUCLID: