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Proceedings Paper

Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)
Author(s): E. E. Becklin; A. G. G. M. Tielens; R. D. Gehrz; H. H. S. Callis
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Paper Abstract

The joint U.S. and German SOFIA project to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP is now in its final stages of development. Flying in the stratosphere, SOFIA allows observations throughout the infrared and submillimeter region with an average transmission of ≥ 80%. The SOFIA instrument complement includes broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematic studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km/s resolution. These instruments will enable SOFIA to make unique contributions to a broad array of science topics. First science flights will begin in 2009, and the observatory is expected to operate for more than 20 years. The sensitivity, characteristics, science instrument complement, and examples of first light science are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 September 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6678, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XV, 66780A (26 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.735903
Show Author Affiliations
E. E. Becklin, Universities Space Research Association, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
A. G. G. M. Tielens, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
R. D. Gehrz, Univ. of Minnesota (United States)
H. H. S. Callis, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6678:
Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XV
Marija Strojnik-Scholl, Editor(s)

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