FIREBall-2: Advancing TRL while doing proof-of-concept astrophysics on a suborbital platform

Erika T. Hamden, Keri Hoadley, D. Christopher Martin, David Schiminovich, Bruno Milliard, Shouleh Nikzad, Ramona Augustin, Philippe Balard, Patrick Blanchard, Nicolas Bray, Marty Crabill, Jean Evrard, Albert Gomes, Robert Grange, Julia Gross, April Jewell, Gillian Kyne, Michele Limon, Nicole Lingner, Mateusz MatuszewskiNicole Melso, Frederi Mirc, Johan Montel, Hwei Ru Ong, Donal O'Sullivan, Sandrine Pascal, Etienne Perot, Vincent Picouet, Muriel Saccoccio, Brian Smiley, Xavier Soors, Pierre Tapie, Didier Vibert, Isabelle Zenone, Jose Zorilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here we discuss advances in UV technology over the last decade, with an emphasis on photon counting, low noise, high efficiency detectors in sub-orbital programs. We focus on the use of innovative UV detectors in a NASA astrophysics balloon telescope, FIREBall-2, which successfully ew in the Fall of 2018. The FIREBall-2 telescope is designed to make observations of distant galaxies to understand more about how they evolve by looking for diffuse hydrogen in the galactic halo. The payload utilizes a 1.0-meter class telescope with an ultraviolet multiobject spectrograph and is a joint collaboration between Caltech, JPL, LAM, CNES, Columbia, the University of Arizona, and NASA. The improved detector technology that was tested on FIREBall-2 can be applied to any UV mission. We discuss the results of the ight and detector performance. We will also discuss the utility of sub-orbital platforms (both balloon payloads and rockets) for testing new technologies and proof-of-concept scientific ideas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • CGM
  • Galaxy Evolution
  • Scientific Ballooning
  • TRL Advancement
  • UV detectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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