You are here

Spectrometer Grating Element, Extreme Ultraviolet, U.S. Air Force


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Spectrometer Grating Element, Extreme Ultraviolet, U.S. Air Force

Collection Item Summary:

Grazing incidence grating from the Extreme Ultraviolet scanning spectrometer. Part of the detector system for this series of monochrometers flown on sounding rockets by the Air Force in the late 1950s through the 1970s. This instrument obtained the spectrum as an electrical signal in contrast to the earlier spectrometers that recorded spectra on photographic film. It was designed to acquire the extreme ultraviolet part of the spectrum of the sun by scanning the solar spectrum that had been dispersed from a diffraction grating. A special high-work-function photocathode scanned the spectral region from 250 to 1300 Angstroms, and the signal was amplified in the tube by a cascade amplifier, whose design was intermediate between dynodes and the later chaneltrons. This spectrometer (serial number 53) dates back to 1971 and was built by the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory under the direction of Hans Hintereggar. This is an actual flight instrument that may have flown on an Aerobee rocket. The U.S. Air Force transferred this to NASM in 1990.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from the United States Air Force


magnesium, aluminum, glass, gold film


3-D: 4.4 x 1.9 x 3.2cm (1 3/4 x 3/4 x 1 1/4 in.)

Country of Origin

United States



Inventory Number


Related Topics