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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Observatory for Planetary Investigations from the Stratosphere

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Observatory for Planetary Investigations from the Stratosphere

The Observatory for Planetary Investigation from the Stratosphere (OPIS) project demonstrated the ability of the Wallops Arc Second Pointing (WASP) system to provide a stable platform for planetary observations during an October 2014 flight.  The OPIS project will refurbish the OPIS imaging system for future use and analyze the results from the test flight. The system will be maintained for use by the planetary community through ROSES funded efforts.

We will build on work being done at Wallops Flight Facility to design a high precision pointing system, known as the Wallops Arc-Second Pointer (WASP) Project, and the FY14 IRAD effort to build, integrate and fly the Observatory for Planetary Investigations from the Stratosphere (OPIS) with the WASP system. This integrated system would be an ideal platform for planetary observations and for rapid testing of instrument designs at low TRL. In an FY12 IRAD, we studied a high-altitude mission concept and in  FY14  we built an imaging system (OPIS) to demonstrate the pointing stability of the WASP system.

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