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  • Optical Bench Readied for NASA

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2000
Composite Optics Inc. of San Diego has delivered the optical bench for NASA's tropospheric emission spectrometer, scheduled for June 2003 launch aboard the Aura satellite. The company subjected the instrument structure to a series of shock and vibration tests before shipping it to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., which is constructing the IR spectrometer for NASA.

As part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, Aura will examine the Earth's environment to enable an understanding of how it is changing. The spectrometer will monitor the troposphere, the atmospheric layer extending from the Earth's surface to an altitude of about 10 miles, with an emphasis on ozone and gases that form ozone.

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