The Faint Intergalactic-medium Redshifted Emission Balloon (FIREBall-2, FB-2) is designed to discover and map faint UV emission from the circumgalactic medium around low redshift galaxies (z ~ 0.3 (C IV); z ~ 0.7 (Lyα); z ~ 1.0 (O VI)). FIREBall-2's first launch, on September 22nd 2018 out of Ft. Sumner, NM, was abruptly cut short due to a hole that developed in the balloon. FIREBall-2 was unable to observe above its minimum require altitude (25 km; nominal: 32 km) for its shortest required time (2 hours; nominal: 8+ hours). The shape of the deflated balloon, as well as a concurrent full moon close to our observed target field, revealed a severe, off-axis scattered light path directly to the UV science detector. Additional damage to FB-2 added complications to the ongoing effort to prepare FB-2 for a quick re-flight. Upon landing, several mirrors in the optical chain, including the two large telescope mirrors, were damaged, resulting in chunks of material broken off the sides and reflecting surfaces. The magnifying optical element, called the focal corrector, was discovered to be misaligned beyond tolerance after the 2018 flight, with one of its two mirrors damaged from the landing impact. We describe the steps taken thus far to mitigate the damage to the optics, as well as procedures and results from the ongoing efforts to re-align the focal corrector and spectrograph optics. We report the throughput of the spectrograph before and after the 2018 flight and plans for improving it. Finally, we describe several methods by which we address the scattered light issues seen from FIREBall-2's 2018 campaign and present the current status of FB-2 to fly during the summer campaign in Palestine, TX in 2020.
The Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) is an instrument onboard the Aditya-L1 spacecraft, the first dedicated solar mission of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which will be put in a halo orbit at the Sun-Earth Langrage point (L1). SUIT has an off-axis Ritchey–Chrétien configuration with a combination of 11 narrow and broad bandpass filters which will be used for full-disk solar imaging in the Ultravoilet (UV) wavelength range 200-400 nm. It will provide near simultaneous observations of lower and middle layers of the solar atmosphere, namely the Photosphere and Chromosphere. These observations will help to improve our understanding of coupling and dynamics of various layers of the solar atmosphere, mechanisms responsible for stability, dynamics and eruption of solar prominences and Coronal Mass ejections, and possible causes of solar irradiance variability in the Near and Middle UV regions, which is of central interest for assessing the Sun’s influence on climate.