NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has been developing lidar to remotely measure CO2 and CH4 in the Earth’s atmosphere. The ultimate goal is to make space-based satellite measurements with global coverage. We are working on maturing the technology readiness of a fiber-based, 1.57-micron wavelength laser transmitter designed for use in atmospheric CO2 remote-sensing. To this end, we are building a ruggedized prototype to demonstrate the required power and performance and survive the required environment.
We are building a fiber-based master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) laser transmitter architecture. The laser is a wavelength-locked, single frequency, externally modulated DBR operating at 1.57-micron followed by erbium-doped fiber amplifiers. The last amplifier stage is a polarization-maintaining, very-large-mode-area fiber with ~1000 μm2 effective area pumped by a Raman fiber laser. The optical output is single-frequency, one microsecond pulses with >450 μJ pulse energy, 7.5 KHz repetition rate, single spatial mode, and < 20 dB polarization extinction.
Following up on Cassini/CIRS, we are building the next-generation Composite InfraRed Spectrometer for deep-space
planetary exploration. CIRS-Lite combines Mid & Far-IR channels into a single instrument with 4x the spectral
sensitivity of CIRS. Here we discuss the instrument optical design, the design process, and the system performance.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has been engaging in Earth and planetary science instruments development
for many years. With stunning topographic details of the Mars surface to Earth's surface maps and ice sheets dynamics
of recent years, NASA GSFC has provided vast amount of scientific data products that gave detailed insights into
Earth's and planetary sciences. In this paper we will review the past and present of space-qualified laser programs at
GSFC and offer insights into future laser based science instrumentations.
The Earth Atmospheric Solar-Occultation Imager (EASI) is a proposed interferometer with 5 telescopes on an 8-meter boom in a 1D Fizeau configuration. Placed at the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point, EASI would perform absorption spectroscopy of the Earth’s atmosphere occulting the Sun. Fizeau interferometers give spatial resolution comparable to a filled aperture but lower collecting area. Even with the small collecting area the high solar flux requires most of the energy to be reflected back to space. EASI will require closed loop control of the optics to compensate for spacecraft and instrument motions, thermal and structural transients and pointing jitter. The Solar Viewing Interferometry Prototype (SVIP) is a prototype ground instrument to study the needed wavefront control methods. SVIP consists of three 10 cm aperture telescopes, in a linear configuration, on a 1.2-meter boom that will estimate atmospheric abundances of O2, H2O, CO2, and CH4 versus altitude and azimuth in the 1.25 - 1.73 micron band. SVIP measures the Greenhouse Gas absorption while looking at the sun, and uses solar granulation to deduce piston, tip and tilt misalignments from atmospheric turbulence and the instrument structure. Tip/tilt sensors determine relative/absolute telescope pointing and operate from 0.43 - 0.48 microns to maximize contrast. Two piston sensors, using a robust variation of dispersed fringes, determine piston shifts between the baselines and operate from 0.5 - 0.73 microns. All sensors are sampled at 800 Hz and processed with a DSP computer and fed back at 200 Hz (3 dB) to the active optics. A 4 Hz error signal is also fed back to the tracking platform. Optical performance will be maintained to better than λ/8 rms in closed-loop.