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Infrared optical coatings for the EarthCARE Multispectral Imager

Infrared optical coatings for the EarthCARE Multispectral Imager

Our latest paper entitled ‘Infrared optical coatings for the EarthCARE Multispectral Imager’ has just been published in the Optical Society of America, Applied Optics journal.

The paper is open access so anyone can download a copy if they wish.

Infrared optical coatings for the EarthCARE Multispectral Imager

G J Hawkins, D Woods, R E Sherwood, K Djotni

Applied Optics, Vol. 53, Issue 27, pp. 6983-6992 (2014)

The Earth Cloud, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer mission (EarthCARE) Multispectral Imager (MSI) is a radiometric instrument designed to provide the imaging of the atmospheric cloud cover and the cloud top surface temperature from a sun-synchronous low Earth orbit. The MSI forms part of a suite of four instruments destined to support the European Space Agency Living Planet mission on-board the EarthCARE satellite payload to be launched in 2016, whose synergy will be used to construct three-dimensional scenes, textures and temperatures of atmospheric clouds and aerosols. The MSI instrument contains seven channels: four solar channels to measure visible and short-wave infrared wavelengths, and three channels to measure infrared thermal emission. In this paper, we describe the optical layout of the infrared instrument channels, thin-film multilayer designs, the coating deposition method and the spectral system throughput for the bandpass interference filters, dichroic beam splitters, lenses and mirror coatings to discriminate wavelengths at 8.8, 10.8, & 12.0 µm. The rationale for the selection of thin-film materials, spectral measurement technique, and environmental testing performance are also presented.

DOI: 10.1364/AO.53.006983 | Download the full version

Fly your name to Mars

University of Reading a key component in India’s advanced weather satellite

V214 Transfert Lanceur en ZL le 24/07/2013Precision optical components developed by the Infrared Multilayer Laboratory at the University of Reading installed on the INSAT-3D meteorological satellite have just been launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from the Spaceport in French Guiana. The infrared optical filters form a key part of the imager and sounder on the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) INSAT-3D meteorological satellite, comprising a six channel imaging radiometer designed to measure radiant and solar reflected energy from areas sampled on the Earth and a nineteen channel high resolution infrared sounder to measure vertical temperature profiles, humidity, surface and cloud top temperatures, and ozone distribution.

INSAT-3D is one of three satellites under development by ISRO exclusively to improve domestic weather forecasting and track cyclones and monsoons originating from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

The filters project, led by Dr Gary Hawkins at the University of Reading together with NDC Infrared Engineering Ltd., have been responsible for the design and manufacture of the narrow-bandpass infrared filters defining the spectral band definition of the instrument. The payload instruments are required to operate for a lifetime of 7 years after launch.

INSAT-3D Liftoff

About the Laboratory

The , part of the School of Systems Engineering, is exclusively engaged in the research, development and supply of specialist high-quality infrared optics; ranging from coatings for single optical components, to the complete spectral design and manufacture of coatings for complex infrared space-flight atmospheric sensing and ground based astronomical instruments.

The laboratory has established and maintained a long heritage of research, and an internationally renowned reputation as experts at the forefront of thin-film engineering of optical coatings for deployment in state-of-the-art astronomy and planetary remote-sensing instrumentation. The laboratory has been actively involved with projects for development of unique infrared optical components for instruments including ESA’s Living Planet EarthCARE Multi-Spectral Imager (MSI), ESA GMES Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR), NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), NASA/ESA JWST Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) and the ISRO SAC Indian National Satellite System (INSAT-3D) radiometer programmes. These missions are destined to provide global observations of land, ocean and atmospheric monitoring for use in meteorological theories on climate change, and the study of astrophysical properties of stars and other planetary objects.

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James Webb Space Telescope Science Visualizations

A great series of videos by NASA to highlight the science that will be performed by the James Webb Space Telescope.

Further information:
NASA Science Videos
NASA James Webb Space Telescope

ESTEC James Webb Space Telescope Significant Achievement Award

I’ve been presented with a second certificate, this time from the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) for my contributions to the Mid Infra-Red Instrument (MIRI) on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Observatory.

ESTEC JWST Significant Achievement Award

On the occasion of the delivery of the MIRI Optical System to NASA, the European Space Agency presents the James Webb Space Telescope Significant Achievement Award to Richard Sherwood, in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the JWST mission.

UKATC James Webb Space Telescope Significant Achievement Award

I’ve been presented with certificate from the Science & Technology Facilities Council, UK Astronomy Technology Centre for my contributions to the Mid Infra-Red Instrument (MIRI) on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Observatory.

UKATC JWST Significant Achievement Award

The James Webb Space Telescope Significant Achievement Award is presented to Richard Sherwood for your significant contribution to the Mid Infra-Red Instrument (MIRI) on the JWST Observatory delivered May 2012.

Snowy Great Britain

A view of the recent cold weather taken from the NASA Terra satellite. See the green bit at the bottom, sadly that’s me…