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Center Innovation Fund: ARC CIF

Raising the Technical Readiness of Germanium Immersion Gratings for a Space-based High-resolution Infrared Spectrometer

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Raising the Technical Readiness of Germanium Immersion Gratings for a Space-based High-resolution Infrared Spectrometer

Using a high index of refraction material such as Germanium (n=4) to diffract light in an infrared spectrometer results in a smaller beam than that required using reflective gratings with air or vacuum (n=1) as the diffraction medium. The resulting instrument is thus much smaller and lighter. For R=50,000 at 3 microns, the beam can be <1 inch. A Ge IG used in the envisioned spacecraft can also use a passively-cooled detector that operates out to 10 microns. We propose to employ this optical element in a compact infrared spectrometer that could use light from a variety of future space-based telescope missions. Our approach leverages capabilities currently assembled at, and aligned with ARC. Deliverables: A grating and test reports that support a SAT ROSES proposal.

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