Share Email Print
cover

Proceedings Paper

Balloon UV experiments for astronomical and atmospheric observations
Author(s): Sreejith A. G.; Joice Mathew; Mayuresh Sarpotdar; Nirmal K.; Ambily S.; Ajin Prakash; Margarita Safonova; Jayant Murthy
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $14.40 $18.00

Paper Abstract

The ultraviolet (UV) window has been largely unexplored through balloons for astronomy. We discuss here the development of a compact near-UV spectrograph with fiber optics input for balloon flights. It is a modified Czerny-Turner system built using off-the-shelf components. The system is portable and scalable to different telescopes. The use of reflecting optics reduces the transmission loss in the UV. It employs an image-intensified CMOS sensor, operating in photon counting mode, as the detector of choice. A lightweight pointing system developed for stable pointing to observe astronomical sources is also discussed, together with the methods to improve its accuracy, e.g. using the in-house build star sensor and others. Our primary scientific objectives include the observation of bright Solar System objects such as visible to eye comets, Moon and planets. Studies of planets can give us valuable information about the planetary aurorae, helping to model and compare atmospheres of other planets and the Earth. The other major objective is to look at the diffuse UV atmospheric emission features (airglow lines), and at column densities of trace gases. This UV window includes several lines important to atmospheric chemistry, e.g. SO2, O3, HCHO, BrO. The spectrograph enables simultaneous measurement of various trace gases, as well as provides better accuracy at higher altitudes compared to electromechanical trace gas measurement sondes. These lines contaminate most astronomical observations but are poorly characterized. Other objectives may include sprites in the atmosphere and meteor ashes from high altitude burn-outs. Our recent experiments and observations with high-altitude balloons are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 August 2016
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9908, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, 99084E (9 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232246
Show Author Affiliations
Sreejith A. G., Indian Institute of Astrophysics (India)
Joice Mathew, Indian Institute of Astrophysics (India)
Mayuresh Sarpotdar, Indian Institute of Astrophysics (India)
Nirmal K., Indian Institute of Astrophysics (India)
Ambily S., Indian Institute of Astrophysics (India)
Ajin Prakash, Indian Institute of Astrophysics (India)
Margarita Safonova, Indian Institute of Astrophysics (India)
Jayant Murthy, Indian Institute of Astrophysics (India)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9908:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI
Christopher J. Evans; Luc Simard; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top