Dr. Michael W. Davis
Staff Scientist at Southwest Research Institute
SPIE Involvement:
Area of Expertise:
UV spectroscopy , UV, Vis, and IR detectors , Astronomical instrumentation , ZEMAX , Optical Design and Tolerancing , IDL Programming
Profile Summary

Dr. Davis is an astrophysicist specializing in the design and testing of astronomical instruments. His research interests include UV/VIS/IR imaging and spectroscopy, planetary atmospheres, and galactic astrophysics. His graduate training focused on the development of Michigan State University’s Spartan IR Camera for the 4-m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) Telescope at Cerro Pachon, Chile. His dissertation research developed a new method for measuring the mass of groups of distant galaxies via gravitational lensing and photometric redshifts. Dr. Davis has integrated and tested UV instrumentation for over 15 years, including the Big Dog Planetary Rocket payload (NASA sounding rocket flights 36.201 UL and 36.210 UL) and the ALICE spectrograph for New Horizons. He is the Instrument Scientist for the Rapid Acquisition Imaging Spectrograph Experiment (RAISE, NASA sounding rocket flight 36.219 US), and designed the slit-jaw camera for that payload. Dr. Davis is the Optics, Detector, and Calibration Scientist for the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), an ALICE-type instrument for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Dr. Davis is also a member of the LAMP science team. Dr. Davis is the optics, detector, and calibration lead for the UVS instrument for NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter. He also supports optical design and test efforts for projects ranging from extreme ultraviolet imaging to rotating prism assemblies for imaging and low-res spectroscopy in the near-infrared. Dr. Davis is in charge of the Division 15 Vacuum Ultraviolet Radiometric Test Chamber used to test and calibrate spaceflight UV instrumentation. Dr. Davis is an expert user of the ZEMAX optical design software package since 1999, and has received training in both Advanced Optical Design and Stray Light and Illumination from ZEMAX Development Corporation. Dr. Davis has authored or co-authored over 55 technical papers in the fields of ultraviolet spectroscopy and astronomical instrumentation.
Publications (31)

Proceedings Article | 9 September 2019
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
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

SPIE Journal Paper | 20 May 2019
JATIS Vol. 5 Issue 02
KEYWORDS: Space operations, Jupiter, Sensors, Data acquisition, Radiation effects, Spectrographs, Ultraviolet radiation, Auroras, Data storage, Microchannel plates

Proceedings Article | 19 September 2018
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
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 31 publications
Conference Committee Involvement (3)
UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI
11 August 2019 |
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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