Past Space Projects


Artep Incorporated subcontracted on the NRL SHIMMER STPSat-1 satellite instrument that launched on March 8th, 2007.  Artep Incorporated designed and developed the instrument electronics, flight software, and electrical GSE for this payload.  Artep was also in charge of generating the weekly upload commands and the data base that collected and archived the scientific and engineering data.

In addition to this design work, Artep Incorporated was in charge of the NRL integration side of the SHIMMER payload onto the STPSat-1 satellite.

What is SHIMMER?

NRL’s Spatial Heterodyne Imager for Mesospheric Radicals (SHIMMER) instrument is the primary payload of STPSat-1. It is a compact, rugged, high-resolution ultraviolet spectrometer that imaged the Earth’s atmosphere. SHIMMER was the first satellite-based instrument to use the spatial heterodyne spectroscopy (SHS) technique, which significantly reduces the instrument’s size and weight while retaining the spectral resolution and exceeding the sensitivity of comparable conventional instrumentation.

The two main goals of the SHIMMER mission were to demonstrate SHS for long-duration (greater than one year) spaceflight, and to measure altitude profiles of the hydroxyl radical (OH) between 40 and 100 km altitude. OH participates in the photochemical destruction of ozone and is also a proxy for water vapor, which is a tracer for large-scale circulation in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.



Artep Incorporated designed and developed the instrument electronics and flight software that was used by the astronauts to control this Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) payload.   Artep also developed the GSE for realtime monitoring of the science data.

NRL’s SHIMMER MID-DECK was flown on Shuttle flight STS-112, Oct. 7-18, 2002. The flight of SHIMMER as a Shuttle middeck payload, served as a proof-of-concept demonstration of this new and powerful technique, facilitating future high-resolution imaging instruments that are small, rugged, light-weight and have no moving parts.

SHIMMER is the first spaceborne instrument implementation realizing the SHS (Spatial Heterodyne Spectroscopy) technique conceived by Fred Roesler and John Harlander of the University of Wisconsin and of St. Cloud State University, respectively. The SHIMMER demonstration instrument was developed by NRL under the sponsorship of the DoD Space Test Program and support of NASA and NSF (National Science Foundation).


Artep Incorporated employees were responsible under contract with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for the flight electronics, flight software, wiring harnessing, Ground Support Equipment, real-time commanding, integration and launch support of the NRL sounding rocket payload.

What is VAULT?

The Very high Angular Resolution ULtraviolet Telescope (VAULT) is a sounding rocket payload designed, fabricated, and flown by the Naval Research Laboratory Solar Physics Branch. The objectives are to obtain high spatial resolution observations of the Sun that will significantly increase our understanding of fine-scale structures and atmospheric heating, and lead to the development of next-generation space instrumentation.




 Artep Incorporated as a subcontractor to NRL fabricated, developed, tested and integrated the MAHRSI payload electronics, flight software, and electrical GSE.  Artep was in charge of the on-orbit real-time commanding and data reception from MAHRSI.

 In addition to this design work, Artep Incorporated was in charge of integrating the MAHRSI payload onto the German built ASTRO-SPAS satellite.  MAHRSI was launched twice (STS-66 and STS-85).

What is MAHRSI?

The Middle Atmosphere High Resolution Spectrograph Investigation (MAHRSI), a remote sensing instrument developed by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). In the fall of 1994, MAHRSI obtained the first global measurements of the hydroxyl radical (OH) in the middle atmosphere, providing unprecedented information on the chemical family that is believed to determine the natural balance of ozone in the altitude region above 35 kilometers (km).

MAHRSI flew on the German Space Agency’s Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere — Shuttle Pallet Atmosphere Satellite (CRISTA/SPAS). CRISTA/SPAS was deployed from the space shuttle Discovery’s robot arm during NASA’s STS-85 mission. During nine days of free flight, MAHRSI measured OH and nitric oxide by sensing the ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted and scattered by the atmosphere.

MAHRSI’s first set of measurements, which were made in November 1994, provide a detailed picture of the morning build-up of the OH profile. This second flight provided an opportunity to observe afternoon OH levels at smaller solar zenith angles (the angle of the Sun from overhead). The second set of observations also provide the opportunity to explore the photochemistry of the summer polar region.



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