Advertisement

Space Science Reviews

, 140:155 | Cite as

ALICE: The Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph Aboard the New Horizons Pluto–Kuiper Belt Mission

  • S. Alan Stern
  • David C. Slater
  • John Scherrer
  • John Stone
  • Greg Dirks
  • Maarten Versteeg
  • Michael Davis
  • G. Randall Gladstone
  • Joel W. Parker
  • Leslie A. Young
  • Oswald H. W. Siegmund
Article

Abstract

The ALICE instrument is a lightweight (4.4 kg), low-power (4.4 watt) imaging spectrograph aboard the New Horizons mission to the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt. Its primary job is to determine the relative abundances of various species in Pluto’s atmosphere. ALICE will also be used to search for an atmosphere around Pluto’s moon, Charon, as well as the Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) that New Horizons is expected to fly by after Pluto-Charon, and it will make UV surface reflectivity measurements of all of these bodies, as well as of Pluto’s smaller moons Nix and Hydra. The instrument incorporates an off-axis telescope feeding a Rowland-circle spectrograph with a 520–1870 Å spectral passband, a spectral point spread function of 3–6 Å FWHM, and an instantaneous spatial field-of-view that is 6 degrees long. Two different input apertures that feed the telescope allow for both airglow and solar occultation observations during the mission. The focal plane detector is an imaging microchannel plate (MCP) double delay-line detector with dual solar-blind opaque photocathodes (KBr and CsI) and a focal surface that matches the instrument’s 15-cm diameter Rowland-circle. In this paper, we describe the instrument in greater detail, including descriptions of its ground calibration and initial in flight performance. New Horizons launched on 19 January 2006.

Keywords

NASA missions Instrumentation Calibration Ultraviolet Spectroscopy Pluto Kuiper belt 

References

  1. R.J.C. Brown, P.J. Brewer, M.J.T. Milton, The physical and chemical properties of electroless nickel-phosphorus black surfaces. J. Mater. Chem. 12, 2749–2754 (2002) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. K. Danzmann, M. Günther, J. Fischer, M. Kock, M. Kühne, High current hollow cathode as a radiometric transfer standard source for the extreme vacuum ultraviolet. Appl. Opt. 27, 4947–4951 (1988) ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. J.L. Elliot, E.W. Dunham, A.S. Bosh, S.M. Slivan, L.A. Young, L.H. Wasserman, Pluto’s atmosphere. Icarus 77, 148 (1989) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Fountain et al., Space Sci. Rev. (2008, this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11214-008-9374-8 zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. B. Flynn, J. Vallerga, F. Dalaudier, G.R. Gladstone, EUVE measurement of the local interstellar wind and geocorona via resonance scattering of solar He I 584-Å line emission. J. Geophys. Res. 103, A4 (1998) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. P. Jelinsky, S. Jelinsky, Low reflectance EUV materials: a comparative study. Appl. Opt. 26(4), 613–615 (1987) ADSGoogle Scholar
  7. V.A. Krasnopolsky, D.P. Cruikshank, Photochemistry of Pluto’s atmosphere and ionosphere near perihelion. J. Geophys. Res. 104(E9), 21,979–21,996 (1999) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. S.R. McCandliss, J.B. McPhate, P.D. Feldman, Narcissistic ghosts in Rowland-mounted, concave gratings with v=0°: a cautionary note. Appl. Opt. 37, 5070 (1998) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. K.A. Moldosanov, M.A. Samsonov, L.S. Kim, R. Henneck, O.H.W. Siegmund, J. Warren, S. Cully, D. Marsh, Highly absorptive coating for the vacuum ultraviolet range. Appl. Opt. 37(1), 93–97 (1998) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. J.F. Osantowski, R.A.M. Keski-Kuha, H. Herzig, A.R. Toft, J.S. Gum, C.M. Fleetwood, Optical coating technology for the EUV. Adv. Space Res. 11(11), 185–201 (1991) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. O.H.W. Siegmund, Microchannel plate imaging detector technologies for UV instruments, in Conference Proceedings From X-rays to X-band—Space Astrophysics Detectors and Detector Technologies, Space Telescope Science Institute, 2000 Google Scholar
  12. O.H.W. Siegmund, J. Stock, R. Raffanti, D. Marsh, M. Lampton, Planar delay line readouts for high resolution astronomical EUV/UV spectroscopy, in UV and X-Ray Spectroscopy of Astrophysical and Laboratory Plasmas, Proceedings from the 10th International Colloquium, Berkeley, CA, 3–5 February 1992, pp. 383–386 Google Scholar
  13. O.H. Siegmund, J.M. Stock, D.R. Marsh, M.A. Gummin, R. Raffanti, J. Hull, G.A. Gaines, B.Y. Welsh, B. Donakowski, P.N. Jelinsky, T. Sasseen, J.L. Tom, B. Higgins, T. Magoncelli, J.W. Hamilton, S.J. Battel, A.I. Poland, M.D. Jhabvala, K. Sizemore, J. Shannon, Delay-line detectors for the UVCS and SUMER instruments on the SOHO Satellite, in EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy V, ed. by O.H.W. Siegmund, J.V. Vallerga, Proceedings of SPIE, vol. 2280 (1994), pp. 89–100 Google Scholar
  14. D.C. Slater, S.A. Stern, T. Booker, J. Scherrer, M.F. A’Hearn, J.L. Bertaux, P.D. Feldman, M.C. Festou, O.H.W. Siegmund, Radiometric and calibration performance results for the Rosetta UV imaging spectrometer ALICE, in UV/EUV and Visible Space Instrumentation for Astronomy and Solar Physics, ed. by O.H.W. Siegmund, S. Fineschi, M.A. Gummin, Proceedings of SPIE, vol. 4498 (2001), pp. 239–247 Google Scholar
  15. D.C. Slater, M.W. Davis, C.B. Olkin, J. Scherrer, S. Alan Stern, Radiometric performance results of the New Horizons’ ALICE UV imaging spectrograph, in X-Ray, UV, Visible, and IR Instrumentation for Planetary Missions, ed. by O.H.W. Siegmund, G. Randall Gladstone, Proceedings of SPIE, vol. 5906B, 2005 Google Scholar
  16. J.R. Spencer, J.A. Stansberry, L.M. Trafton, E.F. Young, R.P. Binzel, S.K. Croft, Volatile transport, seasonal cycles, and atmospheric dynamics on Pluto, in Pluto and Charon, ed. by S. Alan Stern, David J. Tholen (University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1997), p. 435 Google Scholar
  17. S.A. Stern, D.C. Slater, W. Gibson, H.J. Reitsema, A. Delamere, D.E. Jennings, D.C. Reuter, J.T. Clarke, C.C. Porco, E.M. Shoemaker, J.R. Spencer, The highly integrated Pluto payload system (HIPPS): A sciencecraft instrument for the Pluto mission, in EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, ed. by O.H.W. Siegmund, J. Vallerga, Proceedings of SPIE, vol. 2518 (1995), pp. 39–58 Google Scholar
  18. S.A. Stern, Space Sci. Rev. (2008, this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11214-007-9295-y Google Scholar
  19. L.M. Trafton, D.M. Hunten, K.J. Zahnle, R.L. McNutt Jr., Escape processes at Pluto and Charon, in Pluto and Charon, ed. by S. Alan Stern, David J. Tholen (University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1997), p. 475 Google Scholar
  20. G.L. Tyler, I.R. Linscott, M.K. Bird, D.P. Hinson, D.F. Strobel, M. Pätzold, M.E. Summers, K. Sivaramakrishnan, The New Horizons radio science experiment (REX). Space Sci. Rev. (2008, in press) Google Scholar
  21. Young et al., Space Sci. Rev. (2008, this issue) Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Alan Stern
    • 1
  • David C. Slater
    • 2
  • John Scherrer
    • 2
  • John Stone
    • 2
  • Greg Dirks
    • 2
  • Maarten Versteeg
    • 2
  • Michael Davis
    • 2
  • G. Randall Gladstone
    • 2
  • Joel W. Parker
    • 1
  • Leslie A. Young
    • 1
  • Oswald H. W. Siegmund
    • 3
  1. 1.Southwest Research InstituteBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Southwest Research InstituteSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.Sensor SciencesPleasant HillUSA

Personalised recommendations