Quick Look

Design Study of Potential Ultraviolet Spectrometer Payloads for a Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Mission, 15-9402

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Principal Investigators
Kurt D. Retherford
S. Alan Stern
Michael W. Davis
David C. Slater
G. Randy Gladstone
Frank J. Crary
Kelly D. Smith

Inclusive Dates: 06/23/03 - 10/26/03

Background - NASA recently created the Prometheus program of large flagship class missions, which will start with a Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission. In this program, nuclear electric power and propulsion will be developed and used to usher in a new age of outer solar system exploration, with more efficient propulsion, higher payload power (10–100 kW), high data transmission rates (10–100 Mb/s), and relaxed payload mass constraints (up to 500 kg). The goal of our internal quick-look research project is to develop remote-sensing instrument concepts in the spirit of this new and very different space paradigm.

Approach - Our approach is to perform requirements definition, concept design, and associated trade studies for a facility class telescope feeding a remote sensing suite of multispectral imagers and imaging spectrometers that will act as a single integrated remote sensing payload for JIMO. Our main goals for this design are to achieve economies of scale that reduce cost and mass relative to a suite of imagers and spectrometers that would otherwise be proposed as separate instruments for JIMO, and to achieve the unprecedentedly high throughput (i.e., signal-to-noise ratio) and spatial resolution (Raleigh criterion) performance that only a large optic can offer. Note that we broadened our approach from that initially proposed to include much more than potential ultraviolet spectrometer payload designs (i.e., the project title is outdated).

Accomplishments - We performed initial requirements definition, proof-of-concept design, and associated preliminary trade studies for an Integrated Multiwavelength High-capability Observatory (which we dub IMHO) suited to measure the surface, atmosphere, and plasma environments of Jupiter's icy moons, and take advantage of the planned capabilities for the large JIMO spacecraft. Results from the initial science traceability and proof-of-concept design studies performed in this quick-look project were used in a NASA High Capability Instruments for Planetary Exploration (HCIPE) proposal to conduct a formal, more detailed design study in preparation for a future NASA hardware development opportunity. It is our goal to publish a conference proceedings paper (e.g., SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering) that includes these results.

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