Adaptive Controller for Compact Fourier Transform Spectrometer with Space Applications

Monday, 15 December 2014
Patrick Yiu1, Didier Keymeulen2, Daniel F Berisford2, Kevin P Hand2, Robert W Carlson3 and Matthew Conroy1, (1)California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (3)Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States
Here we present noise mitigation techniques developed as part of an adaptive controller for a very compact Compositional InfraRed Interferometric Spectrometer (CIRIS) implemented on a stand-alone field programmable gate array (FPGA) architecture with emphasis on space applications in high radiation environments such as Europa. CIRIS is a novel take on traditional Fourier Transform Spectrometers (FTS) and replaces linearly moving mirrors (characteristic of Michelson interferometers) with a constant-velocity rotating refractor to variably phase shift and alter the path length of incoming light. The design eschews a monochromatic reference laser typically used for sampling clock generation and instead utilizes constant time-sampling via internally generated clocks. This allows for a compact and robust device, making it ideal for spaceborne measurements in the near-IR to thermal-IR band (2-12 µm) on planetary exploration missions. The instrument’s embedded microcontroller is implemented on a VIRTEX-5 FPGA and a PowerPC with the aim of sampling the instrument’s detector and optical rotary encoder in order to construct interferograms. Subsequent onboard signal processing provides spectral immunity from the noise effects introduced by the compact design’s removal of a reference laser and by the radiation encountered during space flight to destinations such as Europa. A variety of signal processing techniques including resampling, radiation peak removal, Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), spectral feature alignment, dispersion correction and calibration processes are applied to compose the sample spectrum in real-time with signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) performance comparable to laser-based FTS designs in radiation-free environments. The instrument's FPGA controller is demonstrated with the FTS to characterize its noise mitigation techniques and highlight its suitability for implementation in space systems.