Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Nick Roberts


Nick Roberts


Charles Swenson


David Geller


Greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are raising the global temperature and causing adverse side effects. Of these greenhouse gasses, methane is one of the most impactful, second only to carbon dioxide. One of the methods for determining the concentration of methane in the atmosphere is taking images of the earth from space. The purpose of this project is to further a new imaging technology for detecting methane leaks called FINIS (Filter Incidence Narrow-band Infrared Spectrometer), thus improving our capability to detect and locate methane leaks and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. FINIS has been developed in various stages since 2018 and has been accepted to fly on a CubeSat called ACMES (Active Cooling for Multispectral Earth Sensors) in 2024. My thesis will explore a new and optimized design for FINIS to be implemented on a CubeSat and determine whether it can survive the space environment. As part of the design and testing process, we will determine whether the precision of the FINIS instrument is comparable to other satellites observing methane. FINIS is estimated to be more compact, capable, and affordable than previous space-based sensors and has the potential for providing a next-generation methane sensor.