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Proceedings Paper

The science case and mission concept for the Single Aperture Far-Infrared (SAFIR) Observatory
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Paper Abstract

SAFIR is a large (10 m-class), cold (4-10 K) space telescope for wavelengths between 20 microns and 1 mm. It will provide sensitivity a factor of a hundred or more greater than that of Spitzer and Herschel, leveraging their capabilities and building on their scientific legacies. Covering this scientifically critical wavelength regime, it will complement the expected wavelength performance of the future flagship endeavors JWST and ALMA. This vision mission will probe the origin of stars and galaxies in the early universe, and explore the formation of solar systems around nearby young stars. Endorsed as a priority by the Decadal Study and successive OSS roadmaps, SAFIR represents a huge science need that is matched by promising and innovative technologies that will allow us to satisfy it. In exercising those technologies it will create the path for future infrared missions. This paper reviews the scientific goals of the mission and promising approaches for its architecture, and considers remaining technological hurdles. We review how SAFIR responds to the scientific challenges in the OSS Strategic Plan, and how the observatory can be brought within technological reach.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 October 2004
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 5487, Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Space Telescopes, (12 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.551335
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel F. Lester, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
McDonald Observatory, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Dominic J. Benford, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Andrew Blain, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Charles M. Bradford, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Mark Dragovan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
William Langer, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Charles R. Lawrence, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
David T. Leisawitz, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
John C. Mather, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Samuel Harvey Moseley, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Lee G. Mundy, Univ. of Maryland/College Park (United States)
George H. Rieke, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Gordon Stacey, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Harold W. Yorke, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Erick T. Young, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5487:
Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Space Telescopes
John C. Mather, Editor(s)

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