The CONTOUR Remote Imager and Spectrometer (CRISP)

J. W. Warren, K. J. Heffernan, S. J. Conard, James Bell, A. L. Cochran, J. D. Boldt, A. F. Bowman, E. H. Darlington, T. Deluzio, D. Fiore, D. E. Fort, D. Garcia, M. P. Grey, B. L. Gotwols, A. Harch, J. R. Hayes, G. A. Heyler, L. M. Howser, D. C. Humm, N. R. IzenbergK. E. Kosakowski, W. J. Lees, D. A. Lohr, H. M. Luther, D. S. Mehoke, S. L. Murchie, R. A. Reiter, B. Rider, G. D. Rogers, D. Sampath, E. D. Schaefer, T. S. Spisz, K. Strohbehn, S. Svenson, H. W. Taylor, P. L. Thompson, J. Veverka, R. L. Williams, P. Wilson

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

1 Scopus citations


The CONTOUR Remote Imager and Spectrometer (CRISP) was a multi-function optical instrument developed for the Comet Nucleus Tour Spacecraft (CONTOUR). CONTOUR was a NASA Discovery class mission launched on July 3, 2002. This paper describes the design, fabrication, and testing of CRISP. Unfortunately, the CONTOUR spacecraft was destroyed on August 15, 2002 during the firing of the solid rocket motor that injected it into heliocentric orbit. CRISP was designed to return high quality science data from the solid nucleus at the heart of a comet. To do this during close range (order 100 km) and high speed (order 30 km/sec) flybys, it had an autonomous nucleus acquisition and tracking system which included a one axis tracking mirror mechanism and the ability to control the rotation of the spacecraft through a closed loop interface to the guidance and control system. The track loop was closed using the same images obtained for scientific investigations. A filter imaging system was designed to obtain multispectral and broadband images at resolutions as good as 4 meters per pixel. A near IR imaging spectrometer (or hyperspectral imager) was designed to obtain spectral signatures out to 2.5 micrometers with resolution of better than 100 meters spatially. Because of the high flyby speeds, CRISP was designed as a highly automated instrument with close coupling to the spacecraft, and was intended to obtain its best data in a very short period around closest approach. CRISP was accompanied in the CONTOUR science payload by CFI, the CONTOUR Forward Imager. CFI was optimized for highly sensitive observations at greater ranges. The two instruments provided highly complementary optical capabilities, while providing some degree of functional redundancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsR.B. Hoover, A.Y. Rozanov
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventInstruments, Methods, and Mission for Astrobiology VII - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2003Aug 4 2003


OtherInstruments, Methods, and Mission for Astrobiology VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • CFI
  • Comet
  • Encke
  • Hyperspectral
  • Imaging spectrometer
  • Multispectral
  • Nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'The CONTOUR Remote Imager and Spectrometer (CRISP)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this