Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings of SPIE



Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



The Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) instrument is a 10-channel earth limb-viewing sensor that measures atmospheric emissions in the spectral range of 1.27 μm to 16.9 μm. SABER is part of NASA’s Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) mission, which was successfully launched in December 2001. Uncommon among limb-viewing sensors, SABER employs an on-axis telescope design with reimaging optics to allow for an intermediate field stop and a Lyot stop. Additional stray light protection is achieved by an innovative inner Lyot stop, which is placed conjugate to the secondary obscuration and support structure. Presented in this paper is the off-axis response of SABER as measured in the Terrestrial Black Hole off-axis scatter facility at the Space Dynamics Laboratory. The measurement was made at visible wavelengths; thus, the response is only representative of SABER’s short wavelength channels. The measurement validated the stray light design and complemented the APART software model, which predicts that mirror scatter is the dominant stray light mechanism at short wavelengths. In addition, estimates of the mirror bi-directional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) were made. The off-axis response measurement indicates that SABER is an exceptional stray light suppression telescope.