The telescope of STUDIO (STratospheric UV Demonstrator of an Imaging Observatory), the prototype mission of ESBO DS, was delivered to the IRS in the beginning of January 2021. The Acceptance Review took place remotely in December 2020 due to the unfortunate COVID-19 travel restrictions.
With a scientific motivation to search for hot compact stars and detect flares from cool dwarf stars, the Modified Dall-Kirkham telescope has an aperture of 50 cm and covers observations in the wavelength range from 180 nm to 1100 nm. It is equipped with an elliptical primary mirror and a spherical secondary mirror. The latter is supported by a remotely operable mechanism for focus and tilt, with a resolution of 3 µm. Both mirrors are covered with a layer of aluminum and a silicon dioxide coating to enhance their reflectivity in the deep ultra-violet range. A barrel of three lenses is added to improve off-axis image quality.
The optical payload of STUDIO is composed of the telescope and two main scientific instruments: an advanced photon-counting, imaging microchannel plate detector (MCP) developed at the Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik in Tübingen (IAAT) and a commercial PCO.edge 4.2 camera, also used as sensor for an image stabilization system.
The telescope is now installed in the Satellite Integration Room of the IRS, where it is undergoing general functional tests, which will be continued after its integration to the flight gondola in May.
STUDIO’s first flight is planned for August 2022 from Esrange Space Center in Kiruna, Sweden.