Pluto integrated camera spectrometer (PICS) instrument

P. M. Beauchamp, R. H. Brown, C. F. Bruce, G. S. Chen, M. P. Chrisp, G. A. Fraschetti, T. N. Krabach, S. W. Petrick, D. H. Rodgers, J. Rodriguez, S. L. Soll, A. H. Vaughan, L. A. Soderblom, B. R. Sandel, R. V. Yelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We describe an integrated instrument that will perform the functions of three optical instruments required by a Pluto Fast Flyby mission: a near-IR spectrometer (256 spectral channels, 1300–2600 nm), a two-channel imaging camera (300–500 nm, 500–1000 nm), and a UV spectrometer (80 spectral channels, 70–150 nm). A separate port, aligned in a direction compatible with radio occultation experiments, is provided for measurement of a UV solar occultation and for spectral radiance calibration of the IR and visible subsystems. Our integrated approach minimizes mass and power use, and promotes the adoption of integrated observational sequences and power management to ensure compatible duty cycles for data acquisition, compression, and storage. From flight mission experience, we believe the integrated approach will yield substantial cost savings in design, integration, and sequence planning. The integrated payload inherently provides a cohesive mission data set, optimized for correlative analysis. A breadboard version of the instrument is currently being built and is expected to be fully functional by late summer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalActa Astronautica
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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