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Liftoff for Reading filters on board TechDemoSat-1 satellite

09 July 2014

Precision optical components developed by the were successfully launched by a Soyuz 2-1B rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The infrared optical filters form a key part of the Compact Modular Sounder (CMS) instrument on board the TechDemoSat-1 satellite.

TechDemoSat-1 is a high technology satellite built by Surrey Satellite Technology in conjunction with Oxford University Atmospheric Physics Department, the UK Space Agency and a number of industry partners to create a spacecraft for the demonstration of innovative technology for scientific and commercial applications in spaceflight. The CMS instrument is a modular infrared remote sensing radiometer unit, designed to easily mix and match subsystems and fly multiple versions on platforms at low cost by tailoring the instrument to the specific needs of science and industry.

Dr Gary Hawkins at the University of Reading Infrared Multilayer Laboratory, has been responsible for the design and manufacture of the high precision narrow-bandpass infrared filters which are used to define the atmospheric gas measurements of the instrument.

TechDemoSat-1 Liftoff

About the Laboratory

The is exclusively engaged in the research, development and supply of specialist high-quality infrared optics; ranging from coatings for single optical components, to the complete spectral design and manufacture of coatings for complex infrared space-flight atmospheric sensing and ground based astronomical instruments.

The laboratory has established and maintained a long heritage of research, and an internationally renowned reputation as experts at the forefront of thin-film engineering of optical coatings for deployment in state-of-the-art astronomy and planetary remote-sensing instrumentation. The laboratory has been actively involved with projects for development of unique infrared optical components for instruments including ESA's Living Planet EarthCARE Multi-Spectral Imager (MSI), ESA GMES Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR), NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), NASA/ESA JWST Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) and the ISRO SAC Indian National Satellite System (INSAT-3D) radiometer programmes. These missions are destined to provide global observations of land, ocean and atmospheric monitoring for use in meteorological theories on climate change, and the study of astrophysical properties of stars and other planetary objects.

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