Country of Origin: United States of America
3-D Test: 61 x 30.5cm (24 x 12 in.)
Welded steel and hardened steel components, glass grating, optical mirrors, fluorite lenses
Solar spectrograph designed to be flown on a V-2 rocket. A group at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington D.C. led by Richard Tousey created this rugged design to be flown initially in a V2 warhead and hopefully to survive the flight intact, for physical retrieval of photographic film. It utilizes a simple Rowland grating, and has two tiny spherical entrance apertures made of lithium fluoride. The rotation of the rocket during exposures was incorporated into the design to produce a crude slit-like spectrum. After World War II, captured German V2 rockets provided a means for sending scientific instruments above much of the Earth's atmosphere, which absorbs ultraviolet radiation. This instrument is one of about a dozen manufactured for NRL by Baird Associates of Cambridge MA. The first successful flight came on 10 October 1946. The solar spectra from the mission provided data on the pattern of UV absorption by ozone in the Earth's atmosphere. This example is most likely unflown. It was lent to the Smithsonian by NRL in August 1982 and transferred in 1983; it was exhibited in the Stars Gallery until October 1997. See also A198400181001.
Transferred from the Naval Research Laboratory