Balloon-borne FIREBall-2 ultraviolet spectrograph stray light control based on nonsequential reverse modeling of on-sky data

Trenton Brendel, Aafaque Khan, Simran Agarwal, Heejoo Choi, Daewook Kim, Erika Hamden, Vincent Picouet, D. Christopher Martin, Bruno Milliard, David Schiminovich, Shouleh Nikzad, Jean Evrard, Nicolas Bray, Johan Montel, Keri Hoadley, Drew M. Miles, Gillian Kyne, Jessica Li, Zeren Lin, Haeun ChungPhilippe Balard, Patrick Blanchard, Marty Crabill, Charles Antoine Chevrier, Alain Peus, Ignacio Cevallos-Aleman, Olivia Jones, Harrison Bradley, Naz Ipek Kerkeser, Matthew Werneken, Didier Vibert, Nicole Melso, David Valls-Gabaud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We present a comprehensive stray light analysis and mitigation strategy for the FIREBall-2 ultraviolet balloon telescope. Using nonsequential optical modeling, we identified the most problematic stray light paths, which impacted telescope performance during the 2018 flight campaign. After confirming the correspondence between the simulation results and postflight calibration measurements of stray light contributions, a system of baffles was designed to minimize stray light contamination. The baffles were fabricated and coated to maximize stray light collection ability. Once completed, the baffles will be integrated into FIREBall-2 and tested for performance preceding the upcoming flight campaign. Given our analysis results, we anticipate a substantial reduction in the effects of stray light.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48001
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022


  • nonsequential ray tracing
  • optomechanical design
  • stray light analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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