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11 October 2004 Applications of reflective spatial heterodyne spectroscopy to UV exploration in the solar system
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Ultraviolet astronomy is an important tool for the study of the interplanetary medium, comets, planetary upper atmospheres, and the near space environments planets and satellites. In addition to brightness distributions, emission line profiles offer insight into winds, atmospheric escape, energy balance, currents, and plasma properties. Unfortunately, the faintness of many target emissions and the volume limitations of small spacecraft and remote probes limit the opportunities for incorporating a high spectral resolution capability. An emerging technique to address this uses an all-reflective form of the spatial heterodyne spectrometer (SHS) that combines very high (R >105) spectral resolution and large étendue in a package small enough to fly as a component instrument on small spacecraft. The large étendue of SHS instruments makes them ideally suited for observations of extended, low surface brightness, isolated emission line sources, while their intrinsically high spectral resolution enables the study of the dynamical and spectral characteristics described above. We are developing three forms of the reflective SHS to observe single line shapes, multiple lines via bandpass scanning, and precision spectro-polarimetry. We describe the basic SHS approach, the three variations under development and their scientific potential for the exploration of the solar system and other faint extended targets.
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Walter M. Harris, Fred L. Roesler, John Harlander, Lotfi Ben-Jaffel, Edwin Mierkiewicz, Jason Corliss, and Ronald J. Oliversen "Applications of reflective spatial heterodyne spectroscopy to UV exploration in the solar system", Proc. SPIE 5488, UV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems, (11 October 2004);

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