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Proceedings Paper

CONTOUR forward imager on the Comet Nucleus Tour mission
Author(s): Steven J. Conard; Jeffery W. Warren; Olivier S. Barnuoin-Jha; James F. Bell; John D. Boldt; Alice F. Bowman; Anita L. Cochran; E. Hugo Darlington; Anthony Deluzio; Daniel Fiore; David Garcia; Bruce L. Gotwols; Matthew P. Grey; Ann P. Harch; John R. Hayes; Kevin J. Heffernan; David C. Humm; Noam R. Izenberg; Kris E. Kosakowski; Holger M. Luther; Douglas S. Mehoke; Scott L. Murchie; Louise M. Prockter; Brian Rider; Deepak Sampath; Edward D. Schaefer; Scott Svenson; Howard W. Taylor; Patrick L. Thompson; Joseph Veverka; Robert L. Williams; Paul Wilson
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Paper Abstract

A filtered imager, the CONTOUR Forward Imager (CFI), was designed, fabricated, and qualified for the Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) Discovery class mission. The CONTOUR spacecraft was launched July 3, 2002, and failed during injection to heliocentric orbit on August 15, 2002. This paper provides an overview of the efforts to produce CFI. The CFI imager was designed to perform optical navigation, comet nucleus imaging, and comet coma imaging. CFI was complemented in the CONTOUR payload by the CONTOUR Remote Imager and Spectrometer (CRISP). The emphasis in the CFI design was on high sensitivity at moderate to long ranges from the comet nucleus, while CRISP was designed for high-speed observations in close to the nucleus. A unique aspect of CFI was the requirement to image multiple comets after being exposed to high-velocity cometary dust on the previous comet flybys (which damages and contaminates the forward looking optics). The first optical surface was replaceable between comet encounters, using a mirror "cube" mechanism, to alleviate the dust damage. Another challenging aspect of the design is that the spacecraft was thruster stabilized (no reaction wheels), placing limits on the available exposure time to accomplish the high sensitivity observations required. CFI utilized ten filters covering from 300 to 920 nm to image onto a backthinned 1024 by 1024 element CCD. The Ritchie-Chrietien telescope provided a clear aperture of 62 mm, a full field of view of 2.5 degrees, and a pixel field of view of 43 microradians. CFI was designed and fabricated by a combined effort of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and SSG Precision Optronics. The CONTOUR mission was lost prior to CFI being powered on in flight.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5163, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology VII, (10 February 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.506344
Show Author Affiliations
Steven J. Conard, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Jeffery W. Warren, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Olivier S. Barnuoin-Jha, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
James F. Bell, Cornell Univ. (United States)
John D. Boldt, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Alice F. Bowman, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Anita L. Cochran, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
E. Hugo Darlington, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Anthony Deluzio, SSG Precision Optronics, Inc. (United States)
Daniel Fiore, SSG Precision Optronics, Inc. (United States)
David Garcia, SSG Precision Optronics, Inc. (United States)
Bruce L. Gotwols, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Matthew P. Grey, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Ann P. Harch, Cornell Univ. (United States)
John R. Hayes, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Kevin J. Heffernan, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
David C. Humm, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Noam R. Izenberg, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Kris E. Kosakowski, SSG Precision Optronics, Inc. (United States)
Holger M. Luther, SSG Precision Optronics, Inc. (United States)
Douglas S. Mehoke, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Scott L. Murchie, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Louise M. Prockter, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Brian Rider, SSG Precision Optronics, Inc. (United States)
Deepak Sampath, SSG Precision Optronics, Inc. (United States)
Edward D. Schaefer, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Scott Svenson, SSG Precision Optronics, Inc. (United States)
Howard W. Taylor, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Patrick L. Thompson, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Joseph Veverka, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Robert L. Williams, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Paul Wilson, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5163:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology VII
Richard B. Hoover; Alexei Yu. Rozanov, Editor(s)

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