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Proceedings Paper

Hitching a ride: an overview of the SOFIA aircraft modification
Author(s): John E. Fitch; J. Gregory Bruich; Douglas C. Debrecht
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Paper Abstract

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint NASA/DLR program in airborne infrared astronomy. The observatory consists of a 2.5 meter telescope mourned in a modified B747SP aircraft The telescope is being provided by a consortium of German contractors. Raytheon Systems Company (RSC), a subcontractor to Universities Space Research Association (USRA), will modify the B747SP, provide the Mission Controls and Communications System (MCCS), and provide the overall observatory integration at its Waco, Texas location. This paper will address the unique aspects of providing an FAA certified observatory piatform for a 44,000 pound telescope operating at altitudes between 41,000 and 45,000 feet. This paper will also provide an overview of the MCCS, both hardware and software functionality, and describe the tasks of integrating and verifying the TA and Aircraft operations. Finally, the paper will describe the operational limitations imposed on SOFIA by the reality of maintaining and flying a B747SP aircraft for the 20 year lifetime ofthe observatory.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 1998
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3356, Space Telescopes and Instruments V, (28 August 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.324473
Show Author Affiliations
John E. Fitch, Raytheon Systems Co. (United States)
J. Gregory Bruich, Raytheon Systems Co. (United States)
Douglas C. Debrecht, Raytheon Systems Co. (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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