Space Deployable Spectrometer With Large Collection Area

Technology #ua17-171

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Lee Johnson
Graduate student, Optical Science
Daniel Apai
Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences, 26 Astronomy
Thomas Milster
Professor, Optical Sciences
Managed By
Amy Phillips
Sr. Licensing Manager (520) 621-9579

Title: Space Deployable Telescope and Spectrometer with Large Collection Area


Invention: This invention is a highly scalable optical design that will allow the construction of deployable space telescopes with collecting areas that are an order of magnitude greater than the current state-of-the-art and with greatly reduced production and launch costs. The design includes a novel spectrometer capable of surveying transiting earth-sized exoplanets for atmospheric bio-signatures. The technology can fundamentally impact space-borne remote sensing, earth observations, and astronomy.


Background: Current state of the art space telescopes are designed with either refractive and/or reflective optical mirrors and lenses. Space telescopes have high manufacturing and launch costs while weighing an average of several tons. There is a need for much lighter weight and less expensive deployable space telescopes that perform equally to the conventional refractive and reflective systems.



  • Astrophysical studies
  • Earth observing systems
  • Telescope array for single or multiple targets



  • Highly scalable
  • Lower manufacturing costs
  • Lower launch costs
  • Tolerance to misalignments


Licensing Manager:

Amy Phillips