This paper will address the development of a new instrument design laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Engineering studies for pre-proposal instrument designs had taken typically 6 months or more in the past. A rapid design capability was clearly needed in the new competitive arena in which Goddard finds itself today. The Instrument Synthesis & Analysis Laboratory (ISAL) has unprecedented resources and can provide a rapid and sustainable instrument-development environment. Typical studies are complete in two weeks. The ISAL supports instruments at different maturity levels such as direct AO response, trade studies in advance of AO and Instrument Incubator Program projects. The ISAL has been an operational facility since the spring of 1999 and has completed more than 50 studies since its inception. ISAL has experience with both Earth Science and Space Science instrument projects. A cadre of highly skilled discipline engineers is put together with the customer science team to develop the customer’s instrument concept. Detailed designs are derived with significant analysis of the design performed during the study. In Spring 2001, ISAL management and operations were unified with the Integration Mission esign Center (IMDC) to form the Integrated Design Capability (IDC).

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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