Paper Title: Miniaturized Infrared Atmospheric Spectrometer (MIRAS)".
Principal Author:Aidan Roche
Abstract: The objective of this IIP effort was to demonstrate the capabilities of a technology based on the coupling of High Resolution Linear Variable Etalons (LVEs) with 2-dimensional detector arrays. This technology allows for the design of high performance infrared spectrometers with all-solid state wavelength scanning and instantaneous spectral and spatial coverage. It is of interest to atmospheric science experiments because it has the potential for major reduction in mass, volume, and cost. For example, the estimated sensor mass for a spaceborne LVE instrument is <50 kg, up to 10 times less than current generation EOS instruments of comparable performance; the volume (0.8x0.7x0.5m) is also as much as 10 times less.
As part of the IIP contract tasks we designed, fabricated and tested two LVEs centered near 8 and 11 µm and having resolving power of about 2000. The devices were used in a laboratory breadboard with a 2-D HgCdTe detector array to acquire gas cell absorption spectra of various atmospheric gases, and solar absorption spectra, in both wavelength ranges. We believe this was the first demonstration of the ability of an LVE solid state spectrometer to acquire high-resolution atmospheric gas absorption spectra. Also as part of the contract we developed a first order design, performance assessment, and cost for a stratospheric chemistry spectrometer based on the LVE solid state spectrometer approach.