A novel moderate-resolution imaging spectrometer spreading from visible wavelength to near infrared wavelength range
with a spectral resolution of 10 nm, which combines curved prisms with the Offner configuration, is introduced.
Compared to conventional imaging spectrometers based on dispersive prism or diffractive grating, this design possesses
characteristics of small size, compact structure, low mass as well as little spectral line curve (smile) and spectral band
curve (keystone or frown). Besides, the usage of compound curved prisms with two or more different materials can
greatly reduce the nonlinearity inevitably brought by prismatic dispersion. The utilization ratio of light radiation is much
higher than imaging spectrometer of the same type based on combination of diffractive grating and concentric optics. In
this paper, the Seidel aberration theory of curved prism and the optical principles of Offner configuration are illuminated
firstly. Then the optical design layout of the spectrometer is presented, and the performance evaluation of this design,
including spot diagram and MTF, is analyzed. To step further, several types of telescope matching this system are
provided. This work provides an innovational perspective upon optical system design of airborne spectral imagers;
therefore, it can offer theoretic guide for imaging spectrometer of the same kind.