Into space

Friday, September 28, 2007


An innovative instrument developed by professors at SCSU and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in collaboration with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., into low earth orbit aboard Space Test Program Satellite-1 this spring.

The satellite carried the Spatial Heterodyne Imager for Mesospheric Radicals (SHIMMER) instrument, a rugged, high-resolution ultraviolet spectrometer designed to image the earth’s atmosphere. The instrument is not only a third the size of earlier instruments, but its higher sensitivity allows for seven times faster sampling of the atmosphere.

The SHIMMER effort at SCSU is led by Physics, Astronomy and Engineering Science Professor John Harlander. He and his undergraduate students contributed to the project in numerous ways, including the design and testing of prototypes at SCSU, the detailed optical design of SHIMMER and development of alignment and data analysis techniques.

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