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Optical and mechanical designs of the multi-band SWIR receiver for the Lunar Flashlight CubeSat mission
Author(s): Quentin Vinckier; Karlton Crabtree; Megan Gibson; Christopher Smith; Udo Wehmeier; Paul O. Hayne; R. Glenn Sellar
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Paper Abstract

Mapping and quantifying lunar water ice addresses one of NASA’s Strategic Knowledge Gaps to understand the lunar resource potential for future human exploration of the Moon. Lunar Flashlight is an innovative NASA CubeSat mission dedicated to mapping water ice in the permanently-shadowed and occasionally-sunlit regions in the vicinity of the lunar South Pole. Lunar Flashlight will acquire these measurements from lunar orbit using a multi-band laser reflectometer composed of an optical receiver aligned with four lasers emitting different wavelengths in the shortwave infrared spectral region between 1 μm and 2 μm. The receiver measures the laser radiance reflected from the lunar surface in each spectral band and continuum/absorption reflectance band ratios are then analyzed to quantify water ice concentration in the illuminated spot. The receiver utilizes a 70×70-mm, aluminum, off-axis paraboloidal mirror with a focal length of 70 mm, which collects the incoming light onto a single, 2 mm diameter InGaAs detector with a cutoff wavelength of 2.4 μm. We present the optical and mechanical designs of the receiver, including its optimization for rejection of solar stray-light from outside its intended field of view. This highly mass- and volume-constrained instrument payload will demonstrate several firsts, including being one of the first instruments onboard a CubeSat performing science measurements beyond low Earth orbit and the first planetary mission to use multi-band active reflectometry from orbit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 June 2018
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10690, Optical Design and Engineering VII, 106901I (5 June 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2302914
Show Author Affiliations
Quentin Vinckier, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Karlton Crabtree, Photon Engineering LLC (United States)
Megan Gibson, Sierra Lobo, Inc. (United States)
Christopher Smith, Sierra Lobo, Inc. (United States)
Udo Wehmeier, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Paul O. Hayne, Univ. of Colorado Boulder (United States)
R. Glenn Sellar, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10690:
Optical Design and Engineering VII
Laurent Mazuray; Rolf Wartmann; Andrew P. Wood, Editor(s)

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