Establishing Astrophysics at Southwest Research Institute, 15-R8141Printer Friendly Version
Inclusive Dates: 04/01/10 – Current
Background - SwRI has a long history of excellence in heliophysics and planetary physics instrumentation and science missions. SwRI would like to expand into the area of astrophysics instrumentation and science missions.
Approach - A component of establishing astrophysics as an area of focus at SwRI is bringing a key technology for space astrophysics missions to a high technical readiness level (TRL). This key technology — a stabilized dispersive focal plane system (SDFPS) — will significantly enhance future ultraviolet to near-infrared astrophysics imaging systems. The method for raising this technology to a TRL 6/7 is defining the interface between the application-specific integrated circuit and the control electronics, building a prototype SDFPS, testing the system with a representative light source in a relevant environment thus raising the technology to a TRL 6, and investigating balloon demonstration opportunities, which would allow the technology to be raised to a TRL 7.
Accomplishments - All interfaces between the application-specific integrated circuit and the control electronics have been defined and connected. Hardware for the SDFPS has been obtained and is being integrated. Software for the SDFPS and obtaining all necessary test equipment is ongoing.