Dr. Kurt D. Retherford
Staff Scientist at Southwest Research Institute
SPIE Involvement:
Area of Expertise:
atmospheres , aurora , ultraviolet , spectroscopy , planetary , mission design
Profile Summary

Dr. Retherford is a planetary scientist specializing in the use of space-based UV observations to study planetary atmospheres and surfaces. His research interests include the aurorae and airglow of the Galilean satellites, Jupiter, the Moon, Mars, and gas giant planets. He has published several technical papers in refereed journals regarding the atmospheres of the Galilean satellites and their interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere, and his dissertation titled "Io's Aurora: HST/STIS Observations."
As an observationalist, Dr. Retherford uses several NASA observatories, including the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), Gemini South, and the IRTF (Infrared Telescope Facility). Mission activities include Principal Investigator for the LRO Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), Deputy PI of the JUICE Ultraviolet Spectrograph (UVS), U.S. CoI on Mars Express SPICAM, and New Horizons Alice Instrument Team member. Lab work includes development of a vacuum-UV chamber at SwRI used in planetary volatile FUV reflectivity studies. He has experience with several instrument and mission design studies with a focus on ultraviolet spectrographs, and leads a PIDDP program to optimize CMOS imaging arrays for far-UV instruments.
Publications (21)

Proceedings Article | 13 December 2020 Presentation + Paper
Proc. SPIE. 11444, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
KEYWORDS: Spectrographs, Sensors, Calibration, Ultraviolet radiation, Microchannel plates, Spectral calibration, Atomic layer deposition, Spectral resolution, Spatial resolution, Jupiter

Proceedings Article | 9 September 2019 Presentation + Paper
Proc. SPIE. 11118, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI
KEYWORDS: Point spread functions, Spectrographs, Electronics, Sensors, Ultraviolet radiation, Image resolution, Shape analysis, Convolution, Spatial resolution

Proceedings Article | 9 September 2019 Paper
Proc. SPIE. 11118, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI
KEYWORDS: Spectrographs, Electronics, Sensors, Microchannel plates, Quantum efficiency, Coating, Atomic layer deposition

Proceedings Article | 19 September 2018 Presentation + Paper
Proc. SPIE. 10748, Systems Contamination: Prediction, Control, and Performance 2018
KEYWORDS: Spectrographs, Electronics, Contamination, Ultraviolet radiation, Microchannel plates, Molecules, Diffusion, Space operations, Performance modeling, Thermal modeling

Proceedings Article | 6 July 2018 Paper
Proc. SPIE. 10699, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
KEYWORDS: Gold, Mirrors, Sun, Magnesium fluoride, Sensors, Photons, Optical coatings, Reflectivity, Aluminum, Exosphere

Showing 5 of 21 publications
Proceedings Volume Editor (1)

SPIE Conference Volume | 11 September 2009

Conference Committee Involvement (2)
UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts V
21 August 2011 | San Diego, California, United States
X-Ray, UV, Visible, and IR Instrumentation for Planetary Missions
4 August 2009 | San Diego, California, United States
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