Space Deployable Spectrometer with Large Collection Area

Case ID:

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.


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
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Richard Weite
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Thomas Milster
Daniel Apai
Lee Johnson