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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Design, construction, and implementation of a ground-based solar spectrograph for the national student solar spectrograph competition
Author(s): E. Keeler; D. Moen; C. Peck; C. Zimny; K. Repasky

Paper Abstract

A solar spectrograph is an instrument that takes incoming sunlight over a specified portion of the sun's emitted electromagnetic spectrum and separates the light into its constituent frequency components, or spectrum. The components are then sent to a detector that measures intensity, which reveals the location of spectral properties of the light such as absorption and emission lines. The National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition (NSSSC) is a Montana Space Grant Consortium sponsored competition where undergraduate student teams from across the country design, build, and implement a ground-based solar spectrograph to perform any solar related task and demonstrate their spectrographs for the competition in May 2012 in Bozeman, MT. Each team is given a 2,000-dollar budget to build their spectrograph, which cannot be exceeded, and all spectrographs must follow regulations in the NSSSC guidelines. This team designed a spectrograph to be capable of imaging the sun across the visible spectrum using spatial filters and a standard photo detector rather than a traditional charge-coupled device due to budget limitations. The spectrograph analyzes the spectrum of small sections of the sun to determine how the spectrum varies across solar features such as the corona, active regions, and quiet regions. In addition to solar imaging, the spectrograph will also analyze atmospheric absorption of the solar spectrum by comparing the measured spectrum to the theoretical spectrum calculated from the blackbody equation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 2012
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8481, Optics Education and Outreach II, 84810Y (18 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.965320
Show Author Affiliations
E. Keeler, Montana State Univ. (United States)
D. Moen, Montana State Univ. (United States)
C. Peck, Montana State Univ. (United States)
C. Zimny, Montana State Univ. (United States)
K. Repasky, Montana State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8481:
Optics Education and Outreach II
G. Groot Gregory, Editor(s)

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