Applications of reflective spatial heterodyne spectroscopy to UY exploration in the Solar System

Walter M. Harris, Fred L. Roesler, John Harlander, Lotfi Ben-Jaffel, Edwin Mierkiewicz, Jason Corliss, Ronald J. Oliversen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Ultraviolet astronomy is an important tool for the study of the interplanetary medium, comets, planetary upper atmospheres, and the near space environments planets and satellites. In addition to brightness distributions, emission line profiles offer insight into winds, atmospheric escape, energy balance, currents, and plasma properties. Unfortunately, the faintness of many target emissions and the volume limitations of small spacecraft and remote probes limit the opportunities for incorporating a high spectral resolution capability. An emerging technique to address this uses an all-reflective form of the spatial heterodyne spectrometer (SHS) that combines very high (R >10 5) spectral resolution and large étendue in a package small enough to fly as a component instrument on small spacecraft. The large étendue of SHS instruments makes them ideally suited for observations of extended, low surface brightness, isolated emission line sources, while their intrinsically high spectral resolution enables the study of the dynamical and spectral characteristics described above. We are developing three forms of the reflective SHS to observe single line shapes, multiple lines via bandpass scanning, and precision spectro-polarimetry. We describe the basic SHS approach, the three variations under development and their scientific potential for the exploration of the solar system and other faint extended targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)886-897
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberPART 2
StatePublished - 2004
EventUV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 21 2004Jun 24 2004


  • Interferometry
  • Polarimetry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Ultraviolet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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