Techne Instruments - Space Flight Projects
Space Flight Projects
Hardware Systems and Instrumentation Design
Analog/Digital/Firmware Design For Research


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Space Flight Projects

In 14 years of work at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, ending in 1994, and on a consulting basis since then, I've developed numerous instrumentation packages for space flight projects; some of them are listed here.  All of these projects have involved development of instrumentation packages for microchanel plate (mcp) detectors.  The mcp is an electron multiplying device which permits single-photon (or single-particle) imaging: an image is built up by recording the XY positions of individual photon events.  The mcp has been around for a long time; a nice description from 30+ years ago is available here: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.119.933&rep=rep1&type=pdf  (There's an unforunate typo in the first sentence: "... an array of 104-107 ..." should be "10e4 to 10e7").  Various schemes have been employed to read out the event positions, including resistive anodes, charge division anodes, time delay anodes, and active-pixel arrays.  The relentless advances in available data conversion (ADC) and logic (FPGA) devices have enabled great advances in system performance.  The FAUST mission mentioned below realized about 64k pixels counting at perhaps 100,000 events per second; I recently finished a (ground-based) system which realizes 256M pixels, and event rates of about 5M/s (and dissipates 40W).

JUNO, Jupiter mission
JUNO launched in August of 2011 and will arrive at Jupiter in 2016, to orbit the planet 32 times and crash into the atmosphere, sending back data until the extreme radiation environment kills it.  I developed the readout system for the UVS, ultraviolet spectrometer

COS, Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, Hubble Space Telescope
COS is an ultraviolet spectrographwhich was  installed on HST during Servicing Mission 4, in 2009.  As a contractor to UCB's Space Sciences Lab which produced the detector system, I was responsible for development of the photon-counting readout system for the Far Ultraviolet Spectrograph.
http://www.spacetelescope.org/about/general/instruments/cos/

New Horizons Pluto mission, launched 2006 (will reach Pluto in 2015)
I developed the low-power (~1W) delayline  readout system for the ALICE spectrograph
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/spacecraft/index.html

FUSE, Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer satellite, launched 1999, decommissioned 2008
I developed the readout system for the Far UV Spectrograph on FUSE
http://fuse.pha.jhu.edu/overview/mission_ov.html

SOHO, Solar Orbiting Heliospheric Observatory, launched 1995
This solar observatory is still in service orbitting the L1 point.  I designed the microchannel plate readout systems for two of the instruments, the Ultraviolet Coronal Spectrograph (UVCS) and Solar Ultraviolet Measurements of Emitted Radiation (SUMER).
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/home.html

ORFEUS-SPAS 1 and 2, Shuttle-deployed instrument suite, 1993 and 1996
ORFEUS was deployed from the shuttle and carried several UV spectrographs.  I developed the microchannel plate readout systems for two of the instruments.

EUVE, Extreme UltraViolet Explorer satellite, launched 1992
EUVE carried a suite of EUV imagers and spectrographs, with microchannel plate readout system.  I was responsible for the high voltage (7.5kV) bias supplies.

FAUST, Shuttle missions Spacelab-1, launched 1983, and ATLAS-1, launched 1992
FAUST was an ultraviolet spectrograph.  I was responsible for the photon-counting microchannel plate readout system.


 




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