The PILOT optical alignment for its first flight

B. Mot, Y. Longval, J. Ph Bernard, P. Ade, Y. André, J. Aumont, L. Bautista, N. Bray, P. deBernardis, O. Boulade, F. Bousquet, M. Bouzit, V. Buttice, A. Caillat, M. Chaigneau, C. Coudournac, B. Crane, F. Douchin, E. Doumayrou, J. P. DuboisC. Engel, P. Etcheto, P. Gélot, M. Griffin, G. Foenard, S. Grabarnik, P. Hargrave, A. Hughes, R. Laureijs, Y. Lepennec, B. Leriche, S. Maestre, B. Maffei, A. Mangilli, J. Martignac, C. Marty, W. Marty, S. Masi, F. Mirc, R. Misawa, J. Montel, L. Montier, J. Narbonne, J. M. Nicot, F. Pajot, G. Parot, E. Pérot, J. Pimentao, G. Pisano, N. Ponthieu, I. Ristorcelli, L. Rodriguez, G. Roudil, M. Saccoccio, M. Salatino, G. Savini, S. Stever, O. Simonella, P. Tapie, J. Tauber, C. Tibbs, J. P. Torre, C. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PILOT is a balloon-borne astronomy experiment designed to study the polarization of dust emission in the diffuse interstellar medium in our Galaxy at wavelengths 240 and 550 µm with an angular resolution of about two arc-min. PILOT optics is composed of an off-axis Gregorian telescope and a refractive re-imager system. All these optical elements, except the primary mirror, are in a cryostat cooled to 3K. We used optical and 3D measurements combined with thermo-elastic modeling to perform the optical alignment. This paper describes the system analysis, the alignment procedure, and finally the performances obtained during the first flight in September 2015.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-471
Number of pages13
JournalCEAS Space Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Astrophysics
  • Optical alignment
  • Optical instrumentation
  • Polarization
  • Submillimeter telescope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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