The CHIPS Mission
The CHIPS spectrograph will be fabricated at the
Space Sciences Laboratory
of the University of California, Berkeley, and carried aboard a
dedicated mini-satellite, called CHIPSat, to be provided by
The planned launch vehicle is a
Boeing Delta II; its primary payload will be
to be launched into a 94° inclination, 600 km circular orbit.
The CHIPS mission will last one year. In its first six months, CHIPS
will map the entire sky to a depth of about 40,000 seconds per
resolution element (resel). Each resel is 5° × 26.7°;
approximately 316 resels are required to cover the entire sky. This
map should provide high S/N detections of the strongest emission
lines. We can then spend the second six months making deep
observations of regions of particular interest or mapping the emission
in selected regions at higher spatial resolution (orienting the
5° × 26.7° field of view perpendicular to the initial survey
direction). Alternatively, it may be more desirable to repeat the
sky-mapping procedure, doubling the integration time in each resel.
CHIPSat is a three-axis stabilized spacecraft, with a solar-panel
array roughly orthogonal to the field of view of the spectrograph.
Based on our current estimates for the power budget, we plan for the
solar panels to remain nearly fully illuminated on the sunlit side of
the orbit, limiting the field of view to (approximately) a great circle
perpendicular to the earth-sun line. During orbital night, the field
of vew is unconstrained. We plan two inertial pointings per orbit,
with brief changeovers near orbital noon and midnight. The overall
observing efficiency should be high, as each slew requires only about a
minute, and no more than ~20% of the time will be spent in the South
Atlantic Anomaly, where high background rates may compromise the data.
Select one of the following for more information:
MISSION - EDUCATION
CHIPS Bibliography -
CHIPS Q&A -
For more information about CHIPS please send an e-mail to
Dr. Mark Hurwitz.
If you have questions about or problems with this web page,
please send an e-mail to
University of California, Space Sciences Laboratory
7 Gauss Way, Berkeley, CA 94720-7450, USA
CHIPS Project Manager: (510) 486-6340