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We have developed a near-infrared spectrometer designed to measure the absolute intensity of the solar 854.2 nm Ca II Fraunhofer line, scattered by interplanetary dust, in the zodiacal light (ZL) spectrum. Based on the known equivalent line width in the solar spectrum, this measurement can derive the zodiacal brightness, testing models of the ZL based on morphology that are used to determine the extragalactic background light in absolute photometry measurements. The spectrometer is based on a simple high-resolution tipped filter placed in front of a compact camera with wide-field refractive optics to provide the large optical throughput and high sensitivity required for rocket-borne observations. We discuss the instrument requirements for an accurate measurement of the absolute ZL brightness, the measured laboratory characterization, and the instrument performance in flight. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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