Micro Fourier Transform Spectrometer
31 Jul 2017



RAL Space has designed and developed a novel Micro Fourier Transform Spectrometer (microFTS) based on a static optical configuration.

Compact microFTS instrument

​Compact microFTS instrument

Credit: STFC RAL Space

The microFTS is an ultra-compact instrument that employs a technique known as Static Imaging Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (SIFTS) ​to perform the same function as a Michelson interferometer. This technology has a wide range of applications and is useful in specific areas such as:

  • Atmospheric composition and air quality monitoring through in-situ sampling (e.g. ground-based urban air-quality monitoring or from Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV's) and radiosondes).
  • On-line sensors to improve the efficiency of large-scale industrial chemical processes.
  • Atmospheric monitoring through remote sensing techniques, either through ground-based observations or from microsatellite platforms.
  • Environmental testing by enforcement and operating agencies (e.g. hazardous waste, roadside vehicle emissions spot checks, gas leak detection and monitoring, etc.)
Schematic layout of the microFTS instrument.jpgOptical solid model, MFTS.jpg
Image: Schematic layout of the microFTS instrument (left) and optical solid model (right)

Credit: STFC RAL Space

The development of the MFTS is funded by STFC Innovations Ltd. and NERC through a proof of concept grant. During this project a breadboard prototype instrument operating in the near infrared and visible spectral regions has been developed. The prototype measures 50 × 50 × 30 mm and has a mass of 0.4 kg. The compact and rugged nature of the SIFTS instrument means that it could be used in environments where current FTIR spectrometers would be unsuitable.

For more information, please contact: Hugh Mortimer or RAL Space Enquiries