NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)


Product Development: Concept, Design, Analysis, Manufacturing, Assembly & Testing.


In collaboration with GSFC, Newton provided full product development services to repackage LEISA in a new, thermally-stable cryogenic detector subsystem for robust performance and expanded capabilities in the Lucy mission.


NASA GSFC requested specialized product development and engineering services to integrate the LEISA detector subsystem from New Horizons into a new instrument structure with expanded sensor capabilities for the Jupiter-bound Lucy mission. 

LEISA is a new class of hyperspectral sensor set to perform spectral imaging of the Trojan asteroids in the .95 to 3.95 micron (950 nm to 3950 nm) wavelength range as part of Lucy’s Ralph (L’Ralph) instrument.

The requested opto-mechanical design allows LEISA’s focal plane to remain fixed through it’s various encounters with Trojan asteroid and incorporates a larger detector with a selectable field of view on it’s focal plane. 


The design precisely balances LEISA’s mechanical, thermal, and electrical performance requirements in a lightweight package that integrates a state-of-the-art detector with an optically-coated, linear variable wavelength filter that allows L’Ralph to perform spectroscopy as light is swept across LEISA’s focal plane via an instrument scan mechanism. 

The solution uses high-performance composite materials in a custom athermal housing to thermally and electrically isolate the detector subsystem from the instrument structure while keeping the focal plane in position through instrument cooldown, without sensitivity to the temperature gradients experienced during each unique Trojan asteroid encounter. 

As part of the package, Newton manufactured and delivered additional flight components for LEISA, including the flexible printed wiring harness housing and cover and a highly-polished, gold plated cold snout used to mitigate IR noise on the LEISA focal plane from the surrounding warml instrument structure.