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Structural, Thermal, and Optical Performance (STOP) analysis of the NASA ARCSTONE instruments
Author(s): Christine Buleri; Mike Kehoe; Constantine Lukashin; Trevor Jackson; Jeff Beckman; Adam Curtis; Britney Edwards; Trevor Owen; Adam Phenis; Mike Stebbins
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Paper Abstract

Calibration accuracy and long-term precision are key on-orbit performance metrics for Earth observing spaceborne sensors. The accuracy and consistency of environmental measurements across multiple instruments in low Earth and geostationary orbits are directly connected to the scientific understanding of complex systems, such as Earth’s weather and climate. It is common for instruments to carry on-board references for calibration at various wavelengths, but these are subject to degradation with time spent in-orbit, and also increase complexity, mass and power requirements.

ARCSTONE is a mission concept that provides a solution to the challenge of achieving and maintaining required instrument calibration accuracy on-orbit in the reflected solar wavelength range. As an orbiting spectrometer flying on a small satellite in low Earth orbit, ARCSTONE will provide lunar spectral reflectance with accuracy sufficient to establish the Moon as an SI-traceable absolute calibration standard for past, current, and future Earth weather, land imaging, and climate sensors in both low and geostationary Earth orbits.

The ARCSTONE instruments are required to provide spectral measurements in a thermal environment that varies by 40 °C or more depending on whether the instrument is in direct sunlight or shade. A Structural, Thermal, and Optical Performance (STOP) analysis is conducted to assess the robustness of these instruments in this thermal setting and to highlight areas for possible design improvement. The analysis is performed for transient thermal environments representing a thermal vacuum chamber (TVAC) test. Analysis was performed for both the ultraviolet – visible (UVVNIR) and infrared (SWIR) instruments, however, this paper will focus solely on the UVVNIR instrument. Additional considerations for the future flight units are presented, including modeling effects of preloads and sliding of lenses in their mounts on outcomes of the thermoelastic model. The ARCSTONE instrument design has been optimized based on the results of this analysis.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 March 2019
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 10925, Photonic Instrumentation Engineering VI, 1092503 (4 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2506656
Show Author Affiliations
Christine Buleri, Quartus Engineering Inc. (United States)
Mike Kehoe, Resonon Inc. (United States)
Constantine Lukashin, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Trevor Jackson, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Jeff Beckman, Quartus Engineering Inc. (United States)
Adam Curtis, Quartus Engineering Inc. (United States)
Britney Edwards, Quartus Engineering Inc. (United States)
Trevor Owen, Quartus Engineering Inc. (United States)
Adam Phenis, AMP Optics, LLC (United States)
Mike Stebbins, Resonon Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10925:
Photonic Instrumentation Engineering VI
Yakov G. Soskind, Editor(s)

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