The temporal variability, or phenology, of animals and plants in coastal zone and marine habitats is a function of geography and climatic conditions, of the chemical and physical characteristics of each particular habitat, and of interactions between these organisms. These conditions play an important role in defining the diversity of life. The quantitative study of phenology is required to protect and make wise use of wetland and other coastal resources. We describe a low cost space-borne sensor and mission concept that will enable such studies using high quality, broad band hyperspectral observations of a wide range of habitats at Landsat-class spatial resolution and with a 3 day or better revisit rate, providing high signal to noise observations for aquatic scenes and consistent view geometry for wetland and terrestrial vegetation scenes.
BIRC is a multispectral infrared imager designed to operate in 8 bandpasses between 2.5 and 5.0 μm utilizing a cryocooled
HgCdTe detector and Ø80 cm telescope. The instrument was flown on a ballooncraft platform and operated in a
near-space environment. BIRC was designed to measure the water and CO2 emissions from the comet ISON. The system
produces an f/4 image over a field of view of 3 arcminutes, and employs shift/co-add algorithms to observe dim objects.
An innovative thermal design holds the system components in separate vacuum and atmospheric zones which are
independent of the neighboring instrument deck. This paper summarizes the design, test and integration of the BIRC
The LOng-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) is the high resolution imager for the New Horizons mission to the
Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt, which is the vast region of icy bodies extending roughly from 30 to 50 astronomical
units (AU). LORRI is a monolithic SiC, Ritchey-Chrétien telescope with a 20.8 cm diameter primary mirror and with an
0.29° field of view. The detector is a thinned, backside-illuminated charge-coupled device (CCD) operated in frame
transfer mode to obtain 1024 × 1024 pixel, panchromatic images over a bandpass of approximately 350 nm to 850 nm
with 4.96 μrad pixels. LORRI operated successfully at the New Horizons Jupiter encounter in Feb-Mar 2007 and made
challenging observations of faint sources, such as the Jovian rings within a few degrees of sunlit Jupiter and the
nightside of Io illuminated by Jupiter shine. Ambitious observations are planned at Pluto encounter including some with
LORRI pointed within 15° of the Sun. A unique program of inflight calibrations has measured LORRI's stray light
rejection using Jupiter and the Sun. The measured point source transmittance (PST) function for LORRI decreases from
145 on axis to 4×10-10 at 75° off-axis.
The LOng-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) is a high resolution imaging instrument on the New Horizons
spacecraft. New Horizons will collect data during a fly-by of Pluto and its satellites in 2015, and may continue on to
collect data at another Kuiper Belt Object in an extended mission phase. New Horizons launched on January 19, 2006,
the first mission of NASA's New Frontiers program. LORRI is a narrow field of view (0.29°), Ritchey-Chrétien
telescope with a 20.8 cm diameter primary mirror. The telescope has an effective focal length of 262 cm and has a three
lens field flattener near the focal plane. The focal plane unit consists of a 1024 × 1024 pixel charge-coupled device
detector operating in frame transfer mode. LORRI provides panchromatic imaging over a bandpass that extends
approximately from 350 nm to 850 nm. The instrument operates in an extreme thermal environment, viewing space
from within the warm spacecraft. For this reason, LORRI has a silicon carbide optical system with passive thermal
control, designed to maintain focus without adjustment over a wide temperature range from -100 C to +50 C.
LORRI has been successfully operated through initial commissioning, a fly-by of Jupiter, and two annual checkout
periods. We describe the in-flight testing and measured performance of LORRI, and provide comparisons to pre-launch
performance predictions. We also detail plans under consideration for changing LORRI's flight software to
accommodate autonomous detection of targets within the instrument's field of view.
The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, launched in
August 2004 and planned for insertion into orbit around Mercury in 2011, has already completed two flybys of the
innermost planet. The Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) acquired nearly 2500 images from the first two flybys and
viewed portions of Mercury's surface not viewed by Mariner 10 in 1974-1975. Mercury's proximity to the Sun and its
slow rotation present challenges to the thermal design for a camera on an orbital mission around Mercury. In addition,
strict limitations on spacecraft pointing and the highly elliptical orbit create challenges in attaining coverage at desired
geometries and relatively uniform spatial resolution. The instrument designed to meet these challenges consists of dual
imagers, a monochrome narrow-angle camera (NAC) with a 1.5° field of view (FOV) and a multispectral wide-angle
camera (WAC) with a 10.5° FOV, co-aligned on a pivoting platform. The focal-plane electronics of each camera are
identical and use a 1024×1024 charge-coupled device detector. The cameras are passively cooled but use diode heat
pipes and phase-change-material thermal reservoirs to maintain the thermal configuration during the hot portions of the
orbit. Here we present an overview of the instrument design and how the design meets its technical challenges. We also
review results from the first two flybys, discuss the quality of MDIS data from the initial periods of data acquisition and
how that compares with requirements, and summarize how in-flight tests are being used to improve the quality of the
The Solar Bolometric Imager (SBI) is an imaging solar telescope assembly that employs a novel single-detector
broadband bolometric measurement technique. An uncooled thermal IR imaging detector is coated with a thin gold-black
film that absorbs over 98% of the solar spectrum. The absorbed energy is then re-radiated in the thermal IR and
sampled by the detector array. This technique  provides an evenly weighted integrated responsivity that spans the
majority of the solar spectrum (0.2-2.5μm). We present here performance results from the follow-on gold-black
deposition process investigation, radiation testing results, spacecraft instrument design and some of the prototype
detector/imaging system's flight performance and calibration data from our 2007 Ft. Sumner balloon flight that
demonstrates the instrument met or exceeded all of its specification.
This paper will describe the evolution of the Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC) electro-optical polarimeter with emphasis on the field-of-view characteristics of the KD*P modulator. Understanding those characteristics was essential to the success of the MSFC solar vector magnetograph. The paper will show how the field-of-view errors of KD*P look similar to the linear polarization patterns seen in simple sunspots and why the placement of the KD*P in a collimated beam was essential in separating the instrumental polarization from the solar signal. Finally, this paper will describe a modulator design which minimizes those field-of-view errors.
This paper will describe the objectives of the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Solar Ultraviolet Magnetograph Investigation (SUMI) and the optical components that have been developed to meet those objectives. A sounding rocket payload is being developed to test the feasibility of magnetic field measurements in the Sun's transition region. The optics have been optimized for simultaneous measurements of two magnetic lines formed in the transition region (CIV at 1550Å and MgII at 2800Å). Finally, this paper will concentrate on the polarization properties of the SUMI polarimeter and toroidal variable-line-space gratings.
This paper will describe the Vacuum Ultraviolet (VUV) polarization testing of the Solar Ultraviolet Magnetograph (SUMI) optics. SUMI is being develop for a sounding rocket payload to prove the feasibility of making magnetic field measurements in the transition region. This paper will cover the polarization properties of the VUV calibration polarizers, the instrumental polarization of the VUV chamber, SUMI's toroidal varied-line-space gratings and the SUMI polarimeter.
This paper will describe the objectives of the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Solar Ultraviolet Magnetograph Investigation (SUMI) and the optical components that have been developed to meet those objectives. In order to test the scientific feasibility of measuring magnetic fields in the UV, a sounding rocket payload is being developed. This paper will discuss: (1) the scientific measurements that will be made by the SUMI sounding rocket program, (2) how the optics have been optimized for simultaneous measurements of two magnetic lines CIV (1550Å) and MgII (2800Å), and (3) the optical, reflectance, transmission and polarization measurements that have been made on the SUMI telescope mirrors and polarimeter.