L'Ralph Instrument Calibration Support

Principal Investigator(s)

Matthew Montanaro

Project Description

This project provides support for the calibration and validation of the Lucy/Ralph instrument for NASA. The instrument is a visible/NIR multispectral and a short wave IR hyperspectral imager designed for rocky material identification for NASA’s Lucy mission to visit multiple Jupiter Trojan asteroids (scheduled for launch in 2021). The PI is involved in developing calibration test procedures and executing calibration characterization tests during pre-flight instrument checkout at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. These efforts are to support the spectral, geometric, and radiometric characterization of the instrument to ensure the primary and secondary science objections of the Lucy mission are met. The PI interfaces with the instrument engineering team, calibration team, and mission science team to convey instrument performance characteristics that may influence science results.

The past six months have been focused on developing the test narratives for pre-flight testing at NASA Goddard and supporting test equipment setup. Recently the instrument completed the first round of spectral characterization testing in which meaningful image data was acquired by the instrument for the first time. The PI assisted in the execution of this test and in the subsequent data processing. This work will continue for the upcoming environmental tests to ensure a speedy delivery of the instrument to the spacecraft manufacturer.