Near-infrared imaging and spectral measurements during the Stardust mission and plans for the ATV-1 reentry observing campaign


Jonathan Snively, Utah State University, Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences, Logan, UT
As a prelude to the ATV-1 reentry observing campaign, we present observations and results from the USU near-infrared imaging systems, used during the Stardust Reentry Capsule (SRC) Observing Campaign. Three instruments were mounted on a single steerable tripod, and used to track the SRC and capture associated visible and near-infrared emissions. An intensified unfiltered Xybion camera was used to acquire and carefully track the capsule, also providing information on the trajectory. Two co-aligned InGaAs cameras were used to obtain spectra of emissions during reentry: A narrow-field imager fitted with a grism was used for high resolution measurements in the 1-1.6 micron range. A visible and near-infrared imager (on loan from Sensors Unlimited) fitted with a simple grating was used to obtain lower-resolution spectra over a wider spectral range. Example results of our Stardust measurements will be presented to illustrate the methodology and capabilities for the up coming ATV reentry campaign.