Balloon-borne FIREBall-2 UV spectrograph stray light control based on non-sequential reverse modeling of on-sky data

Trenton Brendel, Aafaque Khan, Simran Agarwal, Heejoo Choi, Daewook Kim, Erika Hamden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present a comprehensive stray light analysis and mitigation strategy for the FIREBall-2 UV telescope. Using non-sequential 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 post-flight 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)
Title of host publicationGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes IX
EditorsHeather K. Marshall, Jason Spyromilio, Tomonori Usuda
ISBN (Electronic)9781510653450
StatePublished - 2022
EventGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes IX 2022 - Montreal, United States
Duration: Jul 17 2022Jul 22 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes IX 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Stray light analysis
  • non-sequential ray tracing
  • opto-mechanical design

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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