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Center Independent Research & Development: JPL IRAD

Methane Sensing Immersion Grating Spectrometer (MSIGS)

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Develop long-wave infrared (LWIR) immersion grating fabrication techniques and mature high resolution LWIR spectrometer technology to demonstrate an imaging spectrometer testbed for remote sensing of methane. 

Our objective is to develop an imaging spectrometer testbed for remote sensing of the trace gas methane. The testbed will demonstrate compact spectrometer optical designs that will be enabled by using immersion gratings fabricated from silicon or germanium. Such designs are significantly more compact than non-immersion designs because the grating refractive index reduces the wavelength inside the material, leading to reduced grating groove spacing and thus reduced grating area to achieve a desired spectral resolution. The gratings will be fabricated by several techniques and evaluated to determine which material and fabrication technique yields the best system performance for this application. The testbed will capture methane emission spectra in the long-wave infrared (7.65 μm wavelength region) and will allow JPL to build on its existing techniques and algorithms for analyzing methane emission spectra in the long-wave infrared. 

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