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Proceedings Paper

Advances in the optical design of a spatial heterodyne interferometer deployed on a 6U-CubeSat for atmospheric research
Author(s): Friedhelm Olschewski; Martin Kaufmann; Klaus Mantel; Oliver Wroblowski; Martin Riese; Ralf Koppmann
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Paper Abstract

A novel CubeSat payload for atmospheric research has been developed to study the temperature distribution in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere region. The payload consists of a small interferometer for the observation of airglow at 762 nm. Since the rotational structure of the O2 A-band emission follows the Boltzmann law, the ratio of different emission lines allows for temperature retrieval without the need of a precise absolute radiometric calibration of the instrument. Integrated in a 6U CubeSat, the instrument will perform simultaneous limb measurements between 60 km and 150 km globally. The agility of a CubeSat shall be used to focus the measurements on specific regions from different viewing directions. In order to achieve high spectral resolution and high optical throughput, a spatial heterodyne interferometer was chosen for detecting the rotational structure of the O2 A-band emission. The utilization of a two-dimensional imaging detector allows for recording these interferograms at various altitudes at the same time. Since this instrument type has no moving parts, it can be built as a solid block which makes it very attractive for atmospheric measurements especially from space. For highly spatially resolved images of the atmosphere in limb view mode, a high-quality front optics, which images the scene onto the refraction gratings of the interferometer, is required. In addition, a detector optics with minimal aberrations is needed to image the gratings onto the focal plane array. The optical design of the interferometer as well as the technical layout of front and detector optics are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 August 2019
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 11131, CubeSats and SmallSats for Remote Sensing III, 111310B (30 August 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2529968
Show Author Affiliations
Friedhelm Olschewski, Bergische Univ. Wuppertal (Germany)
Martin Kaufmann, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany)
Klaus Mantel, Max-Planck-Institut für die Physik des Lichts (Germany)
Oliver Wroblowski, Bergische Univ. Wuppertal (Germany)
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany)
Martin Riese, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany)
Bergische Univ. Wuppertal (Germany)
Ralf Koppmann, Bergische Univ. Wuppertal (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11131:
CubeSats and SmallSats for Remote Sensing III
Thomas S. Pagano; Charles D. Norton; Sachidananda R. Babu, Editor(s)

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