The optical head of the EnVisS camera for the Comet Interceptor ESA mission: Phase 0 study

Vania Da Deppo, Claudio Pernechele, Geraint H. Jones, George Brydon, Paola Zuppella, Paolo Chioetto, Simone Nordera, Alessandra Slemer, Giuseppe Crescenzio, Emanuele Piersanti, Paolo Spanò, Gino Bucciol, Luca Consolaro, Luisa Lara, Andris Slavinskis

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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EnVisS (Entire Visible Sky) is an all-sky camera specifically designed to fly on the space mission Comet Interceptor. This mission has been selected in June 2019 as the first European Space Agency (ESA) Fast mission, a modest size mission with fast implementation. Comet Interceptor aims to study a dynamically new comet, or interstellar object, and its launch is scheduled in 2029 as a companion to the ARIEL mission. The mission study phase, called Phase 0, has been completed in December 2019, and then the Phase A study had started. Phase A will last for about two years until mission adoption expected in June 2022. The Comet Interceptor mission is conceived to be composed of three spacecraft: spacecraft A devoted to remote sensing science, and the other two, spacecraft B1 and B2, dedicated to a fly-by with the comet. EnVisS will be mounted on spacecraft B2, which is foreseen to be spin-stabilized. The camera is developed with the scientific task to image, in push-frame mode, the full comet coma in different colors. A set of ad-hoc selected broadband filters and polarizers in the visible range will be used to study the full scale distribution of the coma gas and dust species. The camera configuration is a fish-eye lens system with a FoV of about 180°x45°. This paper will describe the preliminary EnVisS optical head design and analysis carried out during the Phase 0 study of the mission.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1144379
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 14 Dec 202022 Dec 2020


  • All-sky imager
  • Comet interceptor
  • Optical head design
  • Space camera


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