The Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment (CUTE): A dedicated cubesat mission for the study of exoplanetary mass loss and magnetic fields

Brian T. Fleming, Kevin France, Nicholas Nell, Richard Kohnert, Kelsey Pool, Arika Egan, Luca Fossati, Tommi Koskinen, Aline A. Vidotto, Keri Hoadley, Jean Michel Desert, Matthew Beasley, Pascal Petit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment (CUTE) is a near-UV (2550-3300 Å) 6U cubesat mission designed to monitor transiting hot Jupiters to quantify their atmospheric mass loss and magnetic fields. CUTE will probe both atomic (Mg and Fe) and molecular (OH) lines for evidence of enhanced transit absorption, and to search for evidence of early ingress due to bow shocks ahead of the planet's orbital motion. As a dedicated mission, CUTE will observe 60 spectroscopic transits of hot Jupiters over a nominal seven month mission. This represents the equivalent of > 700 orbits of the only other instrument capable of these measurements, the Hubble Space Telescope. CUTE efficiently utilizes the available cubesat volume by means of an innovative optical design to achieve a projected effective area of â1/4 22 cm2, low instrumental background, and a spectral resolving power of R â1/4 3000 over the entire science bandpass. These performance characteristics enable CUTE to discern a transit depth of 1% in individual spectral absorption lines. We present the CUTE optical and mechanical design, a summary of the science motivation and expected results, and an overview of the projected fabrication, calibration and launch timeline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XX
EditorsOswald H. Siegmund
PublisherSPIE
ISBN (Electronic)9781510612518
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
EventUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XX 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 6 2017Aug 8 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume10397
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Other

OtherUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XX 2017
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period8/6/178/8/17

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment (CUTE): A dedicated cubesat mission for the study of exoplanetary mass loss and magnetic fields'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this