1 November 2004 Remote sensing space science enabled by the multiple instrument distributed aperture sensor (MIDAS) concept
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Abstract
The science capabilities and features of an innovative and revolutionary approach to remote sensing imaging systems aimed at increasing the return on future planetary science missions many fold are described. Our concept, called Multiple Instrument Distributed Aperture Sensor (MIDAS), provides a large-aperture, wide-field, diffraction-limited telescope at a fraction of the cost, mass and volume of conventional space telescopes, by integrating advanced optical imaging interferometer technologies into a multi-functional remote sensing science payload. MIDAS acts as a single front-end actively controlled telescope array for use on common missions, reducing the cost, resources, complexity, and risks of developing a set of back-end science instruments (SIs) tailored to each specific mission. By interfacing to multiple science instruments, MIDAS enables either sequential or concurrent SI operations in all functional modes. Passive imaging modes enable remote sensing at diffraction-limited resolution sequentially by each SI, as well as at somewhat lower resolution by multiple SIs acting concurrently on the image, such as in different wavebands. MIDAS inherently provides nanometer-resolution hyperspectral passive imaging without the need for any moving parts in the SI's. Our optical design features high-resolution imaging for long dwell times at high altitudes, <1m GSD from the 5000km extent of spiral orbits, thereby enabling regional remote sensing of dynamic planet surface processes, as well as ultra-high resolution of 2cm GSD from a 100km science orbit that enable orbital searches for signs of life processes on the planet surface. In its active remote sensing modes, using an integrated solid-state laser source, MIDAS enables LIDAR, vibrometry, surface illumination, ablation, laser spectroscopy and optical laser communications. The powerful combination of MIDAS passive and active modes, each with sequential or concurrent SI operations, increases potential science return for space science missions many fold. For example, on a mission to the icy moons of Jupiter, MIDAS enhances detailed imaging of the geology and glaciology of the surface, determining the geochemistry of surface materials, and conducting seismic and tidal studies.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Joseph T. Pitman, Alan Duncan, David Stubbs, Robert D. Sigler, Richard Lee Kendrick, Eric H. Smith, James E. Mason, Gregory Delory, Jere H. Lipps, Michael Manga, James R. Graham, Imke de Pater, Sarah Reiboldt, Edward Bierhaus, James B. Dalton, James R. Fienup, Jeffrey W. Yu, "Remote sensing space science enabled by the multiple instrument distributed aperture sensor (MIDAS) concept", Proc. SPIE 5555, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology VIII, (1 November 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.560290; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.560290
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