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L'expérience MAJIS : développement d'un imageur spectral pour les lunes de Jupiter

Abstract : The ESA JUICE mission will only be the third mission fully dedicated to exploring the Jupiter system, and the first with a specific focus on the icy Galilean moons that may harbor oceans of liquid water. Planned for launch in 2022 for a Jovian orbit insertion in late 2029, the probe will carry MAJIS among its 11 instruments, an imaging spectrometer operating from the visible to medium infrared wavelengths. This type of instrument provides very comprehensive data of the observed surface or atmosphere/exosphere: its high spatial resolution capability provides geomorphological information, such as the presence of craters or faults that mark the age and activity of the terrain, while for each pixel a spectrum is acquired. This spectrum, ranging from 0.5 to 5.5 µm, yields physical and chemical information on the region of interest, thus placed in its geomorphic context. The Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, my PhD host laboratory, has a legacy of development of such instruments, prominently OMEGA aboard the 2003 Mars Express probe, of which MAJIS is the latest and current project. In this context, my work’s aim was to contribute to the definition and implementation of the instrument’s calibration: to achieve that I first had to understand its scientific objectives and the resulting instrumental requirements, as well as mastering the characteristics of MAJIS subsystems. As part of that process, I analyzed recent data of Io acquired with SPHERE, an integral field spectrometer on the VLT, which possesses similarities with the expected data products of MAJIS. Though this satellite is a minor objective of the JUICE mission, I had to understand the instrument itself in order to reduce its data and the spectra analysis required the development of a photometric model of a surface observation which I confronted to the reality and to previous studies. The identification of many systematic biases in these data and the quantification of its spatial and spectral detection limits allowed me to highlight the critical aspect in the upcoming calibration phase of MAJIS in order to get interpretable in-flight data. To reach this goal the knowledge of the subsystems of the instrument is also necessary because their behavior will condition the calibration scenario and all their parameters will not be measured again on this occasion. I have therefore characterized, using dedicated optical benches, the focal plane of the instrument and especially its HgCdTe CMOS infrared detector. I was able to measure its most common characteristics, such as its dark current, full-well capacity, quantum efficiency, persistence and readout noise. The knowledge of QE and full-well depth was incorporated into an end-to-end radiometric model of MAJIS, which I fed with the spectral radiance of different scientific targets, including modeled ionian surface flows. In turn, this allowed me to select sources and optical solutions suitable for calibration. Due to the intense radiation levels in the Jovian magnetosphere, the detector’s resilience to radiations also needed to be studied. I was able to perform three test campaigns on control detectors with sources of electrons, protons and high energy photons, which allowed me to show the overall very good resilience of the focal plane to permanent damages and to validate the foreseen transient effects reduction algorithms. These three approaches required that I develop a complete photometric model of the instrument and of its calibration setup which I used to discuss its design and submit test sequences for the calibration campaign. I have worked with our laboratory engineers and industrials to design then build the calibration setup with the light sources that will allow measurement of the spatial, spectral and radiometric responses of the instrument, required to interpret its data during the mission.
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Pierre Guiot. L'expérience MAJIS : développement d'un imageur spectral pour les lunes de Jupiter. Planétologie et astrophysique de la terre [astro-ph.EP]. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLS287⟩. ⟨tel-02436819⟩

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