• NExtUP: The Normal-incidence Extreme Ultraviolet Photometer

      Drake, J.J.; Cheimets, P.; Garraffo, C.; Wargelin, B.; Youngblood, A.; Kashyap, V.L.; Testa, P.; Caldwell, D.; Mason, J.; Fleming, B.; et al. (SPIE, 2021)
      The Normal-incidence Extreme Ultraviolet Photometer (NExtUP) is a smallsat mission concept designed to measure the EUV radiation conditions of exoplanet host stars, and F-M type stars in general. EUV radiation is absorbed at high altitude in a planetary atmosphere, in the exosphere and upper thermosphere, where the gas can be readily heated to escape temperatures. EUV heating and ionization are the dominant atmospheric loss drivers during most of a planets life. There are only a handful of accurately measured EUV stellar fluxes, all dating from Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) observations in the †90s. Consequently, current models of stellar EUV emission are uncertain by more than an order of magnitude and dominate uncertainties in planetary atmospheric loss models. NExtUP will use periodic and aperiodic multilayers on off-Axis parabolic mirrors and a prime focus microchannel plate detector to image stars in 5 bandpasses between 150 and 900°A down to flux limits two orders of magnitude lower than reached by EUVE. NExtUP may also accomplish a compelling array of secondary science goals, including using line-of-sight absorption measurements to understand the structure of the local interstellar medium, and imaging EUV emission from energetic processes on solar system objects at unprecedented spatial resolution. NExtUP is well within smallsat weight limits, requires no special orbital conditions, and would be flown on a spacecraft supplied by MOOG Industries. It draws on decades of mission heritage expertise at SAO and LASP, including similar instruments successfully launched and operated to observe the Sun. © COPYRIGHT SPIE. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
    • The ESCAPE mission overview: Exploring the stellar drivers of exoplanet habitability

      France, K.; Fleming, B.; Youngblood, A.; Mason, J.; Drake, J.J.; Amerstorfer, U.; Barstow, M.; Bourrier, V.; Champey, P.; Fossati, L.; et al. (SPIE, 2021)
      The Extreme-ultraviolet Stellar Characterization for Atmospheric Physics and Evolution (ESCAPE) mission is an astrophysics Small Explorer employing ultraviolet spectroscopy (EUV: 80-825 Å and FUV: 1280-1650 Å) to explore the high-energy radiation environment in the habitable zones around nearby stars. ESCAPE provides the first comprehensive study of the stellar EUV and coronal mass ejection environments which directly impact the habitability of rocky exoplanets. In a 20 month science mission, ESCAPE will provide the essential stellar characterization to identify exoplanetary systems most conducive to habitability and provide a roadmap for NASAs future life-finder missions. ESCAPE accomplishes this goal with roughly two-order-of-magnitude gains in EUV efficiency over previous missions. ESCAPE employs a grazing incidence telescope that feeds an EUV and FUV spectrograph. The ESCAPE science instrument builds on previous ultraviolet and X-ray instrumentation, grazing incidence optical systems, and photon-counting ultraviolet detectors used on NASA astrophysics, heliophysics, and planetary science missions. The ESCAPE spacecraft bus is the versatile and high-heritage Ball Aerospace BCP-Small spacecraft. Data archives will be housed at the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). ESCAPE is currently completing a NASA Phase A study, and if selected for Phase B development would launch in 2025. © COPYRIGHT SPIE. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.