Planetary Integrated Camera Spectrometer (PICS): a new approach to developing a self-sequencing, integrated, multiwavelength instrument

Patricia M. Beauchamp, Robert T. Benoit, Robert H. Brown, Carl F. Bruce, Gun Shing Chen, Michael P. Crisp, J. M. Davidson, George A. Fraschetti, Stanley W. Petrick, David H. Rodgers, Bill R. Sandel, Cesar A. Sepulveda, Laurance A. Soderblom, Dexter Wang, Stanley L. Soll, Roger V. Yelle

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

1 Scopus citations


The planetary integrated camera-spectrometer, PICS, is a highly integrated sensor system which performs the functions of three optical instruments: a near infrared (IR) spectrometer, a visible imaging camera, and an ultraviolet (UV) spectrometer. Integration serves to minimize the mass and power required to operate a complex suite of instruments, and automatically yields a comprehensive data set, optimized for correlative analysis. This approach is useful for deep space missions such as Pluto Express and will also enable Galileo/Cassini class remote observations of any object within the solar system. In our baseline concept, a single set of lightweight multiwavelength foreoptics is shared by a UV imaging spectrometer (80 spectral channels 70 - 150 nm), a two-CCD visible imaging system (shuttered in two colors 300 - 500 nm and 500 - 1000 nm), and a near-IR imaging spectrometer (256 spectral channels 1300-2600 nm). The entire structure, including its optics, is built from silicon carbide (SiC) for thermal and dimensional stability. In addition, there are no moving parts and each spectrometer covers a single octave in wavelength. A separate port is provided for measurement of a UV solar occultation and for spectral radiance calibration of the IR and visible subsystems. The integrated science that the PICS will yield meets or exceeds all of the Priority-1A science objectives, and many Priority 1-B science objectives as well, for the Pluto Express Mission. This paper provides details of the PICs instrument design, fabrication and testing, both at the sub-assembly and the instrument level. In all tests, including optical, thermal vacuum, and structural/dynamics, the PICS hardware prototype met or exceeded functional requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
EventInfrared Technology and Applications XXII - Orlando, FL, USA
Duration: Apr 8 1996Apr 12 1996


OtherInfrared Technology and Applications XXII
CityOrlando, FL, USA

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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