End-To-end ground calibration and in-flight performance of the FIREBall-2 instrument

Vincent Picouet, Bruno Milliard, Gillian Kyne, Didier Vibert, David Schiminovich, Christopher Martin, Erika Hamden, Keri Hoadley, Johan Montel, Nicole Melso, Donal O'Sullivan, Jean Evrard, Etienne Perot, Robert Grange, Shouleh Nikzad, Philippe Balard, Patrick Blanchard, Frederi Mirc, Nicolas Bray, April JewellSamuel Quiret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The payload of the Faint Intergalactic Redshifted Emission Balloon (FIREBall-2), the second generation of the FIREBall instrument (PI: C. Martin, Caltech), has been calibrated and launched from the NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. FIREBall-2 was launched for the first time on the September 22, 2018, and the payload performed the very first multi-object acquisition from space using a multi-object spectrograph. Our performance-oriented paper presents the calibration and last ground adjustments of FIREBall-2, the in-flight performance assessed based on the flight data, and the predicted instrument's ultimate sensitivity. This analysis predicts that future flights of FIREBall-2 should be able to detect the HI Ly? resonance line in galaxies at z ? 0.67, but will find it challenging to spatially resolve the circumgalactic medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044004
JournalJournal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • balloon borne instrument
  • calibration
  • electron multiplying CCD
  • multi-object spectrograph
  • space mission
  • ultraviolet

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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