The scientific payload of the Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite (ULTRASAT)

Sagi Ben-Ami*, Yossi Shvartzvald, Eli Waxman, Udi Netzer, Yoram Yaniv, Viktor M. Algranatti, Avishay Gal-Yam, Ofer Lapid, Eran Ofek, Jeremy Topaz, Iair Arcavi, Arooj Asif, Shlomi Azaria, Eran Bahalul, Merlin F. Barschke, Benjamin Bastian-Querner, David Berge, Vlad D. Berlea, Rolf Bühler, Louise DittmarAnatoly Gelman, Gianluca Giavitto, Or Guttman, Juan M. Haces Crespo, Daniel Heilbrunn, Arik Kachergincky, Nirmal Kaipachery, Marek Kowalski, Shrinivasrao R. Kulkarni, Shashank Kumar, Daniel Küsters, Tuvia Liran, Yonit Miron-Salomon, Zohar Mor, Aharon Nir, Gadi Nitzan, Sebastian Philipp, Andrea Porelli, Ilan Sagiv, Julian Schliwinski, Tuvia Sprecher, Nicola De Simone, Nir Stern, Nicholas C. Stone, Benny Trakhtenbrot, Mikhail Vasilev, Jason J. Watson, Francesco Zappon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite (ULTRASAT) is a space-borne near UV telescope with an unprecedented large field of view (200 deg2). The mission, led by the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Israel Space Agency in collaboration with DESY (Helmholtz association, Germany) and NASA (USA), is fully funded and expected to be launched to a geostationary transfer orbit in Q2/Q3 of 2025. With a grasp 300 times larger than GALEX, the most sensitive UV satellite to date, ULTRASAT will revolutionize our understanding of the hot transient universe, as well as of flaring galactic sources. We describe the mission payload, the optical design and the choice of materials allowing us to achieve a point spread function of ∼ 10 arcsec across the FoV, and the detector assembly. We detail the mitigation techniques implemented to suppress out-of-band flux and reduce stray light, detector properties including measured quantum efficiency of scout (prototype) detectors, and expected performance (limiting magnitude) for various objects.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022
Subtitle of host publicationUltraviolet to Gamma Ray
EditorsJan-Willem A. den Herder, Shouleh Nikzad, Kazuhiro Nakazawa
ISBN (Electronic)9781510653436
StatePublished - 2022
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray - Montreal, United States
Duration: 17 Jul 202222 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 SPIE. All rights reserved.


  • Space-borne telescopes
  • Time domain
  • Ultraviolet


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