Enabling Technologies for Next Generation Ultraviolet Astrophysics, Planetary, and Heliophysics Missions

D. Christopher Martin, Shouleh Nikzad, David Schiminovich
Our study sought to create a new paradigm in UV instrument design, detector technology, and optics that will form the technological foundation for a new generation of ultraviolet missions. This study brought together scientists and technologists representing the broad community of astrophysicists, planetary and heliophysics physicists, and technologists working in the UV. Next generation UV missions require major advances in UV instrument design, optics and detector technology. UV offers one of
more » ... the few remaining areas of the electromagnetic spectrum where this is possible, by combining improvements in detector quantum efficiency (5-10x), optical coatings and higher-performance wide-field spectrometers (5-10x), and increasing multiplex advantage (100-1000x). At the same time, budgets for future missions are tightly constrained. Attention has begun to turn to small and moderate class missions to provide new observational capabilities on timescales that maintain scientific vitality. Developments in UV technology offer a comparatively unique opportunity to conceive of small (Explorer) and moderate (Probe, Discovery, New Millennium) class missions that offer breakthrough science. Our study began with the science, reviewing the breakthrough science questions that compel the development of new observational capabilities in the next 10-20 years. We invented a framework for highlighting the objectives of UV measurement capabilities: following the history of baryons from the intergalactic medium to stars and planets. In astrophysics, next generation space UV missions will detect and map faint emission and tomographically map absorption from intergalactic medium baryons that delineate the structure of the Universe, map the circum-galactic medium that is the reservoir of galaxy-building gas, map the warm-hot ISM of our Galaxy, explore star-formation within the Local group and beyond, trace gas in proto-planetary disks and extended atmospheres of exoplanets, and record the transient UV universe. Solar system planetary atmosph [...]
doi:10.26206/m0np-ak69 fatcat:4zofcr6nxrb43nsmee7x3ifjeu