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Proceedings Paper

Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) enters development
Author(s): Michael D. Bicay; Michael W. Werner; William B. Latter; Larry L. Simmons
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Paper Abstract

The Space IR Telescope Facility (SIRTF), the last of NASA's 'Great Observatories' is entering its development phase. Ongoing advances in IR detector technology, coupled with innovative choices in orbit and system architecture, have maintained the vitality of SIRTF's scientific capability at a small fraction of the original development cost. The great sensitivity of SIRTF and its high observing efficiency promise to yield a rich legacy of science results. SIRTF is on a fast-track development schedule, with launch in December 2001. While the current baseline calls for a minimum 2.5-year cryogenic lifetime, recent programmatic and engineering development suggest that a 5-year lifetime is within reach. More than 75 percent of the SIRTF observing time will be available to the general community. We summarize the scientific capabilities and the technical specifications for the mission, including descriptions of the three-instrument payload. We will focus on the SIRTF science observations concepts, and describe SIRTF's seven observing modes - the modes by which the community will interface with the Observatory. The pre- and post-launch user services available at the SIRTF Science Center will also be presented. We include a listing of events likely to be of interest to potential SIRTF users between now and launch.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 1998
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3356, Space Telescopes and Instruments V, (28 August 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.324432
Show Author Affiliations
Michael D. Bicay, Jet Propulsion Lab. and California Institute of Technology (United States)
Michael W. Werner, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
William B. Latter, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Larry L. Simmons, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3356:
Space Telescopes and Instruments V
Pierre Y. Bely; James B. Breckinridge, Editor(s)

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