Measurement of the Atmospheric Background in the Mesosphere

PI: Sean Casey, Silicon Valley Space Center

Next generation sub-orbital vehicles will provide an innovative platform for the characterization to 300,000 feet. With considerable existing data on the infrared background at stratospheric altitudes, the need to characterize absorption and emission features in the mesosphere becomes apparent. This project comprises a compact infrared spectrometer for measuring atmospheric absorption and emission profiles on a routine basis at moderate spectral resolutions (R < 10,000) at near and mid-infrared wavelengths. The instrument consists of COTS optical components with a stand-alone power system and flight computer separate from the sub-orbital vehicle.

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA08 Science Instruments, Observations and Sensor Systems
Future Customers

The measurements envisioned are designed to guide astronomers in the selection of required altitudes for infrared observations at altitudes above those of airborne or balloon-based experiments. Although sub-orbital flights are currently limited in duration, some astronomical observations are transient in nature and may benefit from the unique capabilities offered by the latest sub-orbital vehicles.

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    AFO2 (Oct 2011)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 sRLV

Development Team

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