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Proceedings Paper

New missions for space-based observations of the moon, planets, and planetary systems with new all-reflecting coronagraph optics
Author(s): Thomas H. Morgan; David C. Slater; Raymond N. Smartt
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Paper Abstract

Creative new optical designs for coronagraphs which use only reflecting elements are extremely well suited for planetary studies which usually require detection of large, faint, tenuous sources about bright central planets (themselves worthy of study). These new coronagraphic designs not only allow the observation of extended atmospheres and coronae, they also allow critical observations of the central planet at the same time with instruments optimized for different wavelengths. The new coronagraphic systems can be more easily accommodated within the envelope of launch vehicle capabilities available today than can older, slower systems, and they permit simple spacecraft designs which reduce weight, power, and cost. They possess inherently higher end-to-end optical efficiencies. The very modest fluxes associated with many extended sources in the solar system, however, require state-of-the-art fabrication techniques, and place new demands on focal plane instrumentation. We focus here on an instrument designed to observe the lunar atmosphere. Also considered are several archetypical problems, including the study of the neutral cloud an ionized torus associated with Jupiter's moon Io and of comets.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 1997
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3116, Small Spacecraft, Space Environments, and Instrumentation Technologies, (1 October 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.293346
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas H. Morgan, Southwest Research Institute (United States)
David C. Slater, Southwest Research Institute (United States)
Raymond N. Smartt, National Solar Observatory/Sacramento Peak (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3116:
Small Spacecraft, Space Environments, and Instrumentation Technologies
Firooz A. Allahdadi; E. Kane Casani; Timothy D. Maclay; Firooz A. Allahdadi; Timothy D. Maclay, Editor(s)

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