Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Spectrometers have been an integral part of space exploration in the late 20th and 21st centuries and will continue to provide quantitative measurements to answer exciting questions like, “Is or was there life on other planets?” PERISCOPE, Probe for Exploring Regolith and Ice by Subsurface Classification of Organics, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and Elements, is a next generation spectrometer designed to explore icy worlds like Europa. It uses time-resolved ultraviolet (UV) fluorescence spectroscopy, a technique that identifies organic molecules, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and rare earth elements (REE). Photon wavelength discrimination is very important for this technique and is accomplished by a spectrometer. Here, a compact imaging spectrometer is designed to obtain high fidelity spatial and spectral data over the UV, visible (VIS), and near infrared regions (NIR) of the electromagnetic spectrum, corresponding to 276 – 850 nm wavelengths. The Offner-Chrisp spectrometer design geometry is popular due to its high optical performance and small size. In this thesis, an analytical design for an Offner-Chrisp system is used to rapidly obtain an initial design, which is then further explored and optimized using ray tracing simulations. The design meets all instrument requirements and achieves nearly diffraction limited performance throughout much of the spatial and spectral domains in the ray tracing model. This translates to a maximum simulated spatial and spectral resolution of 3 μm and 0.2 nm respectively. A system breadboard is then implemented in the lab using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components to test spatial resolution and validate the design concept.
Dr. Matthew D. Lew
Dr. ShiNung Ching Dr. Chuan Wang