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24 July 2018 CUBESPEC: low-cost space-based astronomical spectroscopy
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Abstract
CubeSats are routinely used for low-cost photometry from space. Space-borne spectroscopy, however, is still the exclusive domain of much larger platforms. Key astrophysical questions in e.g. stellar physics and exoplanet research require uninterrupted spectral monitoring from space over weeks or months. Such monitoring of individual sources is unfortunately not affordable with these large platforms. With CUBESPEC we plan to offer the astronomical community a low-cost CubeSat solution for near-UV/optical/near-IR spectroscopy that enables this type of observations.

CUBESPEC is a generic spectrograph that can be configured with minimal hardware changes to deliver both low resolution (R = 100) with very large spectral coverage (200 - 1000 nm), as well as high resolution (R = 30 000) over a selected wavelength range. It is built around an off-axis Cassegrain telescope and a slit spectrograph with configurable dispersion elements. CUBESPEC will use a compact attitude determination and control system for coarse pointing of the entire spacecraft, supplemented with a fine-guidance system using a fast steering mirror to center the source on the spectrograph slit and to cancel out satellite jitter. An extremely compact optical design allows us to house this instrument in a 6U CubeSat with a volume of only 10 × 20 × 30 cm3 , while preserving a maximized entrance pupil of ca. 9 × 19 cm2 . In this contribution, we give an overview of the CUBESPEC project, discuss its most relevant science cases, and present the design of the instrument.
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Gert Raskin, Tjorven Delabie, Wim De Munter, Hugues Sana, Bart Vandenbussche, Bram Vandoren, Victoria Antoci, Hans Kjeldsen, Christoffer Karoff, Alex de Koter, Jean-Michel Désert, Tom Mladenov, and Dirk Vandepitte "CUBESPEC: low-cost space-based astronomical spectroscopy ", Proc. SPIE 10698, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 106985R (24 July 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2314074
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