Advertisement

Space Science Reviews

, Volume 140, Issue 1–4, pp 75–91 | Cite as

Overview of the New Horizons Science Payload

  • H. A. Weaver
  • W. C. Gibson
  • M. B. Tapley
  • L. A. Young
  • S. A. Stern
Article

Abstract

The New Horizons mission was launched on 2006 January 19, and the spacecraft is heading for a flyby encounter with the Pluto system in the summer of 2015. The challenges associated with sending a spacecraft to Pluto in less than 10 years and performing an ambitious suite of scientific investigations at such large heliocentric distances (>32 AU) are formidable and required the development of lightweight, low power, and highly sensitive instruments. This paper provides an overview of the New Horizons science payload, which is comprised of seven instruments. Alice provides moderate resolution (∼3–10 Å FWHM), spatially resolved ultraviolet (∼465–1880 Å) spectroscopy, and includes the ability to perform stellar and solar occultation measurements. The Ralph instrument has two components: the Multicolor Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), which performs panchromatic (400–975 nm) and color imaging in four spectral bands (Blue, Red, CH4, and NIR) at a moderate spatial resolution of 20 μrad/pixel, and the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA), which provides spatially resolved (62 μrad/pixel), near-infrared (1.25–2.5 μm), moderate resolution (λ/δ λ∼240–550) spectroscopic mapping capabilities. The Radio Experiment (REX) is a component of the New Horizons telecommunications system that provides both radio (X-band) solar occultation and radiometry capabilities. The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) provides high sensitivity (V<18), high spatial resolution (5 μrad/pixel) panchromatic optical (350–850 nm) imaging capabilities that serve both scientific and optical navigation requirements. The Solar Wind at Pluto (SWAP) instrument measures the density and speed of solar wind particles with a resolution ΔE/E<0.4 for energies between 25 eV and 7.5 keV. The Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) measures energetic particles (protons and CNO ions) in 12 energy channels spanning 1–1000 keV. Finally, an instrument designed and built by students, the Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter (VB-SDC), uses polarized polyvinylidene fluoride panels to record dust particle impacts during the cruise phases of the mission.

Keywords

New Horizons mission Pluto Kuiper belt 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. F. Bagenal R.L. McNutt Jr., Pluto’s interaction with the solar wind. Geophys. Res. Lett. 16, 1229–1232 (1989) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. F. Bagenal, T.E. Cravens, J.G. Luhmann, R.L. McNutt Jr., A.F. Cheng, Pluto’s interaction with the solar wind, in Pluto and Charon, ed. by S.A. Stern, D.J. Tholen (Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, 1997), pp. 523–555 Google Scholar
  3. A.F. Cheng et al., Long Range Reconnaissance Imager on New Horizons. Space Sci. Rev. (2007, this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11214-007-9271-6 Google Scholar
  4. N. Divine, Five populations of interplanetary meteoroids. J. Geophys. Res. 98, 17029–17051 (1993). doi: 10.1029/93JE01203 CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. W.M. Grundy, B. Schmitt, E. Quirico, The temperature dependent spectra of alpha and beta nitrogen ice with application to Triton. Icarus 105, 254–258 (1993). doi: 10.1006/icar.1993.1122 CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. W.M. Grundy, M.W. Buie, J.A. Stansberry, J.R. Spencer, B. Schmitt, Near-infrared spectra of icy outer solar system surfaces: Remote determination of H2O ice temperatures. Icarus 142, 536–549 (1999). doi: 10.1006/icar.1999.6216 CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. M. Horanyi et al., The Student Dust Counter on the New Horizons mission. Space Sci. Rev. (2007, this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11214-007-9250-y Google Scholar
  8. D. McComas et al., The Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument aboard New Horizons. Space Sci. Rev. (2007, this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11214-007-9205-3 Google Scholar
  9. R.E. McNutt et al., The Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) on New Horizons. Space Sci. Rev. (2007, this issue) Google Scholar
  10. C.B. Olkin, D. Reuter, A. Lunsford, R.P. Binzel, S.A. Stern, The New Horizons distant flyby of asteroid 2002 JF56. DPS Meeting #38 (2006) abstract #59.22 Google Scholar
  11. E. Quirico, B. Schmitt, A spectroscopic study of CO diluted in N2 ice: Applications for Triton and Pluto. Icarus 128, 181–188 (1997). doi: 10.1006/icar.1997.5710 CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  12. E. Quirico, S. Doute, B. Schmitt, C. de Bergh, D.P. Cruikshank, T.C. Owen, T.R. Geballe, T.L. Roush, Composition, physical state, and distribution of ices at the surface of Triton. Icarus 139, 159–178 (1999). CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  13. D. Reuter et al., Ralph: A visible/infrared imager for the New Horizons mission. Space Sci. Rev. (2007, this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11214-008-9375-7 Google Scholar
  14. G.D. Rogers, M.R. Schwinger, J.T. Kaidy, T.E. Strikwerda, R. Casini, A. Landi et al., Autonomous star tracker performance, in Proc. The 57th IAC Congress, Valenica, Spain, 2006 Google Scholar
  15. S.A. Stern, The New Horizons Pluto Kuiper belt Mission: An overview with historical context. Space Sci. Rev. (2007, this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11214-007-9295y Google Scholar
  16. S.A. Stern et al., Alice: The ultraviolet imaging spectrometer aboard the New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper belt mission. Space Sci. Rev. (2007, this issue) doi: 10.1007/s11214-007-9295-y Google Scholar
  17. L. Tyler et al., The Radio EXperiment (REX) on New Horizons. Space Sci. Rev. (2007, this issue) doi: 10.1007/s11214-007-9302-3 Google Scholar
  18. L.A. Young et al., New Horizons: Anticipated scientific investigations at the Pluto system. Space Sci. Rev. (2007, this issue) Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. A. Weaver
    • 1
  • W. C. Gibson
    • 2
  • M. B. Tapley
    • 2
  • L. A. Young
    • 3
  • S. A. Stern
    • 3
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics LaboratoryLaurelUSA
  2. 2.Southwest Research InstituteSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.Southwest Research InstituteBoulderUSA

Personalised recommendations