Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Space & Ground-based Instrumentation

Space instruments gather scientific information to explore new planets, moons and our solar system and beyond. At SwRI, we design, fabricate, integrate and test space mission instruments that measure space plasma, particles, ultraviolet lights (UVs), high and low energy and perform remote sensing. We provide in-situ measurement of space plasmas, the dilute ionized gases that populate the immediate space environments of the Earth and other solar system bodies as well as interplanetary space.

Electromechanical and optical design, prototyping, and flight development for Spacecraft and ground based instrumentation including in-situ plasma and particles, ion and neutral mass spectrometry, Neutral atom imaging, optical imaging spectroscopy, and other instrument types.

Space-based Instrumentation

SwRI-developed instruments used on spacecraft and space missions 

  • Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) on board NASA’s Cassini Saturn Orbiter
  • Plasma Experiment for Planetary Exploration (PEPE) on NASA's Deep Space 1 Mission
  • Medium Neutral Atom Imager (MENA) on NASA’s IMAGE mission
  • Ion Electron Spectrometer (IES) on the European Space Agency’s Rosetta comet mission
  • Alice (UV spectrograph) on the European Space Agency’s Rosetta comet mission
  • Solar Wind at Pluto (SWAP) instrument on the SwRI-led New Horizons mission to Pluto
  • Alice (UV spectrograph) on the SwRI-led New Horizons mission to Pluto
  • Two TWINS (Two Wide angle Imaging Neutral Spectrometers) orbiting the earth studying the Earth’s magnetosphere
  • Electronics and detector hardware for the IBEX-Hi and IBEX-Lo instruments
  • Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JADE) on the Juno probe to Jupiter
  • JUNO-UVS (UV spectrograph) on the Juno probe to Jupiter
  • Hot Plasma Composition Analyzers (HPCAs) for NASA’s four-spacecraft Magnetospheric Multiscale mission
  • Strofio neutral mass spectrometer, part of a suite of particle instruments to be flown on ESA’s BepiColombo Mercury orbiter
  • High Energy Spectrometer (HIS), to be flown on ESA’s Solar Orbiter
  • JUICE-UVS (UV spectrograph) in development for ESA’s JUICE mission
  • Mass Spectrometer (MASPEX) in development for the Europa Clipper mission
  • Europa-UVS (UV spectrograph) in development for the Europa Clipper mission

Ground-based Instrumentation

Solutions developed for Earth- and terrestrial-based instrumentation including ground based telescopes

  • Image enhancement solutions for telescopes
  • Space remote sensing to study asteroids, comets, and planets
  • Ground based mass spectrometers

Testing and Analysis Services

  • Structural analysis, Thermal analysis, Reliability & derating analysis, Electronic subsystems, Optical analysis, ray tracing analysis, radiation analysis in support of instrumentation development activities.