The Ultra-Compact Imaging Spectrometer Moon (UCIS-Moon) instrument is an imaging spectrometer designed for integration with a lander or rover for lunar surface science missions. Operating over a 600-3600 nm spectral range with 10 nm sampling and 1.15 mrad IFOV, UCIS-Moon is capable of detecting spectral absorptions from common lunar minerals, OH species, molecular H2O, water ice, organics, and placing mineral identifications within an established geologic context at the cm to m scale. We present an instrument design capable of surviving the harsh lunar environment in the daytime with temperatures as high as 370 K, while providing high-quality spectral data.
The Snow and Water Imaging Spectrometer (SWIS) is a science-grade imaging spectrometer and telescope system suitable for CubeSat applications, spanning a 350-1700 nm spectral range with 5.7 nm sampling, a 10 degree field of view and 0.3 mrad spatial resolution. The system operates at F/1.8, providing high throughput for low-reflectivity water surfaces, while avoiding saturation over bright snow or clouds. The SWIS design utilizes heritage from previously demonstrated instruments on airborne platforms, while advancing the state of the art in compact sensors of this kind in terms of size and spectral coverage. We provide an overview of the preliminary spacecraft configuration design for accommodation in a 6U CubeSat platform.
Mapping and quantifying lunar water ice addresses one of NASA’s Strategic Knowledge Gaps to understand the lunar resource potential for future human exploration of the Moon. Lunar Flashlight is an innovative NASA CubeSat mission dedicated to mapping water ice in the permanently-shadowed and occasionally-sunlit regions in the vicinity of the lunar South Pole. Lunar Flashlight will acquire these measurements from lunar orbit using a multi-band laser reflectometer composed of an optical receiver aligned with four lasers emitting different wavelengths in the shortwave infrared spectral region between 1 μm and 2 μm. The receiver measures the laser radiance reflected from the lunar surface in each spectral band and continuum/absorption reflectance band ratios are then analyzed to quantify water ice concentration in the illuminated spot. The receiver utilizes a 70×70-mm, aluminum, off-axis paraboloidal mirror with a focal length of 70 mm, which collects the incoming light onto a single, 2 mm diameter InGaAs detector with a cutoff wavelength of 2.4 μm. We present the optical and mechanical designs of the receiver, including its optimization for rejection of solar stray-light from outside its intended field of view. This highly mass- and volume-constrained instrument payload will demonstrate several firsts, including being one of the first instruments onboard a CubeSat performing science measurements beyond low Earth orbit and the first planetary mission to use multi-band active reflectometry from orbit.