The SPRITE CubeSat: Far-Ultraviolet Imaging Spectroscopy of Galaxies and Nebulae in a Small Technology Demonstration Package

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



We present an overview of the Supernova remnants/Proxies for Reionization/ and Integrated Testbed Experiment (SPRITE) CubeSat. SPRITE is a 6U CubeSat designed to carry out two science objectives while simultaneously flight testing two LUVOIR-LUMOS enabling technologies: protected eLiF mirror coatings and low-background borosilicate microchannel plate detectors. These advanced technologies allow SPRITE to reach projected far-ultraviolet sensitivities on par with previous larger NASA missions while maintaining imaging spectroscopic capability. SPRITE will spend roughly half of the projected two-year baseline mission mapping shock emission in supernova remnants in the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds, and the other half determining the escape fraction of hydrogen ionizing radiation from 100 low-redshift starforming galaxies. In parallel with the science operations, SPRITE will execute a calibration program that will track the stability of the mirror coatings and detector over the mission lifetime. SPRITE is currently in the late design phase with an anticipated launch in 2022.


Physics and Astronomy

Publication Title

American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts

Conference Name

33rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society

Conference Place

Seattle, Washington