Testing a Reflective Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer for Spaceflight
Researchers have reported on the development of a Reflective Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer (RSHS) that would be applicable for narrow and broadband observations in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV). This electromagnetic radiation falls in the spectrum spanning wavelengths from 124 nm to 10 nm. The RSHS uses an interferometric technique where information is gathered by superimposing electromagnetic waves to cause interference. The technique is broadly applicable to remote sensing of diffuse emissions (for example, emissions through dust). The RSHS in development is being tested for spaceflight, and could be used on future space missions.
The study, “Development of a Reflective Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer (SHS) for Spaceflight Applications from the Extreme UV to Near IR,” was published in the journal Light, Energy and the Environment. The research was supported in part by the Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) element of the NASA Astrobiology Program. ASTEP was an active program element from 2001 to 2014 and supported investigations focused on exploring Earth’s extreme environments to learn how best to search for life on other planets. The types of projects that were funded by ASTEP are now competed under Planetary Science and Technology from Analog Research (PSTAR).