High-sensitivity far-ultraviolet imaging spectroscopy with the SPRITE Cubesat

Brian T. Fleming, Kevin France, Jack Williams, Stefan Ulrich, Jason Tumlinson, Stephan McCandliss, John O'Meara, Ravi Sankrit, Sanchayeeta Borthakur, Anne Jaskot, Michael Rutkowski, Manuel Quijada, John Hennessy, Oswald Siegmund

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


The SPRITE cubesat is a recently selected NASA astrophysics mission designed to measure ionizing radiation escape from star-forming galaxies, and to map far-ultraviolet (1000-1750 Å) emission from shocked regions in supernova remnants. The instrument leverages a number of new technologies identified for future large mission concepts, including the LUVOIR surveyor, to achieve the required performance. These include high broadband reflectivity mirror coatings and an ultra-low background photon counting microchannel plate detector with an anti-coincidence particle rejection system. SPRITE will serve as a flight testbed for these technologies, employing a robust calibration program as part of the principal science mission to advance the technology readiness level (TRL) to 7+ and provide heritage for future Explorer-class and larger missions. SPRITE is a 6U class cubesat funded through NASA ROSES with an anticipated launch date in 2022. The science data products will be archived on the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). This proceedings describes the instrument science program, optical design, preliminary performance projections, and project timeline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI
EditorsOswald H. Siegmund
ISBN (Electronic)9781510629295
StatePublished - 2019
EventUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI 2019 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 11 2019Aug 13 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • astronomy
  • atmospheres
  • optical design
  • planets
  • satellites
  • ultraviolet spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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