SPHEREx Efficient Survey Operations from Low-Earth Orbit

Video • December 16th, 2021

SPHEREx leverages the reduced launch cost and robust data uplink and downlink available by operating in low-earth orbit. The need to avoid the heat and stray light of the earth and sun, as well as the stray light from the moon, limits the telescope to remain pointed within the orbit-varying allowable pointing zone shown in green. Within this zone, we use advanced software developed for SPHEREx at Arizona State University to plan efficient operations. We take spectral imaging data on a single part of the sky for as long as it stays in the orbit-varying allowable pointing zone, then make a large slew to point the telescope at the other side of the zone before continuing observations.