Pandora SmallSat data simulation and target selection

Trevor O. Foote, Elisa V. Quintana, Jessie L. Dotson, Knicole D. Colón, Thomas Barclay, Pete Supsinskas, Jordan Karburn, Dániel Apai, Christina Hedges, Benjamin V. Rackham, Jason F. Rowe, Jessie L. Christiansen, Thomas P. Greene, James Mason, Gregory Mosby, Néstor Espinoza, Emily A. Gilbert, Kelsey Hoffman, Veselin B. Kostov, Nikole K. LewisBrett M. Morris, Susan E. Mullally, Elisabeth R. Newton, Joshua E. Schlieder, Allison Youngblood, Megan Mansfield, Kevin B. Stevenson, Steven Villanueva

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


Pandora is a SmallSat mission, designed to study the atmospheres of exoplanets using transmission spectroscopy and to investigate the impact that stellar contamination and variability has on observing the spectra of these worlds. Pandora's initial science operation lifetime is one year, so optimizing the science return is critical. Here we present two tools created to assist in the design process. The first is a 2-D spectrum simulator being developed to help refine target selection, optimize observation strategies, and assist in the creation of a data reduction pipeline. The second is a pseudo-retrieval framework that provides a quantifiable method for comparing potential targets against a handful of exoplanetary atmospheric parameters important to the Pandora mission. Preliminary results show Pandora will place tighter constraints on atmospheric properties like water abundance compared to HST and answering its mission objectives will help to inform targets for missions like JWST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
EditorsLaura E. Coyle, Shuji Matsuura, Marshall D. Perrin
ISBN (Electronic)9781510653412
StatePublished - 2022
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - Montreal, Canada
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


ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave


  • 2-D spectrum simulator
  • Pandora
  • SmallSat
  • target selection

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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