Flight Demonstration and Maturation of the Next Generation of Miniature High-resolution Spectrometers

PI: Sona Hosseini, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Obtaining high spectral resolution spectra of astronomical (or other) targets currently requires large telescopes or a Fourier Transform Spectrometer with moving parts. This presents a challenge to space missions with harsh vibration environments and mass limitations. Spatial Heterodyne Spectroscopy (SHS) is an interferometric technique with no moving parts. It enables obtaining data with the sensitivity of Hubble Space Telescope but over a very narrow bandpass of interest that can be defined to be in any wavelength from UV to IR. SHS is a niche instrument studying targeted spectral lines.

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA08 Science Instruments, Observations and Sensor Systems
Problem Statement

Traditional high spectral resolution spectrometers are coupled to large aperture telescopes to compensate for their low throughput, which causes significant disadvantages for space probes and the temporal studies of faint, angularly extended sources on the ground. A Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer (SHS) offers significant advantages in obtaining high spectral resolution and high sensitivity from a narrow wavelength range of interest on board of small aperture telescopes (1-15 cm) more suitable for space platforms.

Technology Maturation

This flight demo will measure the vertical density profiles of hydroxyl (O.H.) in the middle atmosphere at 80 km altitude and will obtain data for the entire duration of the flight. This will enable 1) obtaining data from outside the lab, which will increase the science concept maturity, 2) test, and validate instrument survival and performance in rocket launch conditions (temp/vibrat), 3) advance the spectrometer module.

Future Customers


Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    NASA Directed
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 sRLV

Development Team

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