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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Extreme Ultraviolet Imager –“ Compact (EUVIC)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Just how far can one shrink an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) imager??? — Can it shrink it to a CubeSat/Small-Sat form-factor???  Or perhaps more to the point… Can one imagesuccessfullyHeliospheric/Planetary/Solar targets from a CubeSat? Given the technical challenges of maintaining optical sensitivity, thermal control and radiation hardening… perhaps the more vexing question is… Can one design an EUV imager miniaturized specifically for CubeSat implementationthat is applicable to multiple scientific objectives?

We believe that the “answer” is a resounding Yes!!!  To that end, we believe that we are in the unique position to develop a compact, CubeSat-based EUV imager based upon a commercially–available prototype low-light level camera. The resulting Extreme Ultraviolet ImagerCompact (EUVIC) will capable of either making observations of the Sun and solar corona, planetary OH-emission based, or observations of Earth’s plasmasphere, using the same camera/detector system with the only difference lying in the target-dependent front-end lens/telescopic system employed.

We propose solely to calibrate/evaluate the NightVista® M711 Low Light Level Camera as the baseline detector of the EUVIC. A NightVista® M711 Camera has already been procured through a previous effort.  The EUVIC team will design and implement an appropriate [prototype] comm-interface as well as design, fabricate and implement the necessary mechanical interfaces to mount the M711 camera onto a UV-source calibration chamber — the EUNIS calibration chamber.  We will test NightVista® M711 Camera under vacuum and then test/validate the efficiency/sensitivity of the camera to a range of EUV wavelengths.  The effort will also test/validate the uniformity of — i.e., “flat-field” — the detector.   The resulting data set will then used to baseline the viability of implementing this commercially available camera/detector for heliospheric/planetary/solar imaging applications. 

Considerations for radiation hardening and environment testing of the NightVista® M711 Low Light Level Camera will be differed to future/follow-on IRAD proposal efforts, provided that the existing camera displays the necessary spectral response and flat-fielding characteristics desired.

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