The fluorescence imaging spectrometer (FLORIS) is the payload of the fluorescence explorer mission (FLEX) of the European Space Agency. The mission objective is to perform quantitative measurements of the solar-induced vegetation fluorescence aiming at monitoring photosynthetic activity. FLORIS works in a push-broom configuration, and it is designed to acquire data in the 500 to 780 nm spectral range with a sampling of 0.1 nm in the oxygen bands (759 to 769 nm and 686 to 697 nm) and 0.5 to 2.0 nm in the red edge, chlorophyll absorption, and photochemical reflectance index bands. FLEX will fly in formation with Sentinel-3 to benefit from the measurements made by Sentinel-3 instruments, OLCI, and SLSTR, particularly concerning the cloud screening, the proper characterization of the atmospheric state, and the determination of the surface temperature. The instrument concept is based on a common telescope and two modified Offner spectrometers with reflective concave gratings both for the high resolution (HR) and low resolution (LR) spectrometers. In the frame of the instrument predevelopment, Leonardo Company (Italy) has built and tested an elegant breadboard of the instrument consisting of the telescope and the HR spectrometer. OHB System AG (Germany) is in charge of the development of the LR spectrometer. The main objectives of the activity are to anticipate the development of the instrument and provide early risk retirement of the critical components; evaluate the system performances such as imaging quality parameters, straylight, ghost, polarization sensitivity, and environmental influences; verify the adequacy of critical tests such as spectral characterization and straylight; and define and optimize instrument alignment procedures. Following a brief overview of the FLEX mission, we will cover the design and the development of the optics breadboard with emphasis on the results obtained during the tests and the lessons learned for the flight unit.
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