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Proceedings Paper

The Star Formation Observatory (SFO) mission to study cosmic origins near and far
Author(s): Paul A. Scowen; Rolf Jansen; Matthew Beasley; Brian Cooke; Shouleh Nikzad; Oswald Siegmund; Robert Woodruff; Daniela Calzetti; Steven Desch; Alex Fullerton; John Gallagher; Sangeeta Malhotra; Mark McCaughrean; Robert O'Connell; Sally Oey; Debbie Padgett; James Rhoads; Aki Roberge; Nathan Smith; Daniel Stern; Jason Tumlinson; Rogier Windhorst
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Paper Abstract

The Star Formation Observatory (SFO) is a 1.65m space telescope that addresses pivotal components in the 2007 NASA Science Plan, with a primary focus on Cosmic Origins. The design under consideration provides 100 times greater imaging efficiency and >10 times greater spectroscopic efficiency below 115 nm than existed on previous missions. The mission has a well-defined Origins scientific program at its heart: a statistically significant survey of local, intermediate, and high-redshift sites and indicators of star formation, to investigate and understand the range of environments, feedback mechanisms, and other factors that most affect the outcome of the star and planet formation process. This program relies on focused capabilities unique to space and that no other planned NASA mission will provide: near- UV/visible (20-1100 nm) wide-field, diffraction-limited imaging; and high-efficiency, low- and high- resolution (R~40,000) UV (100-175 nm) spectroscopy using far-UV optimized coatings and recent advances in Micro-Channel Plate (MCP) detector technology. The Observatory imager has a field of view in excess of 17' × 17' (>250 arcmin2) and uses a dichroic to create optimized UV/blue and red/near-IR channels for simultaneous observations, employing detectors that offer substantial quantum efficiency gains and that suffer lower losses due to cosmic rays.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7010, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 70103Z (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788038
Show Author Affiliations
Paul A. Scowen, SESE, Arizona State Univ. (United States)
Rolf Jansen, SESE, Arizona State Univ. (United States)
Matthew Beasley, CASA, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder (United States)
Brian Cooke, NASA-Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Shouleh Nikzad, NASA-Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Oswald Siegmund, SSL, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Robert Woodruff, Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies (United States)
Daniela Calzetti, Univ. of Massachusetts (United States)
Steven Desch, SESE, Arizona State Univ. (United States)
Alex Fullerton, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
John Gallagher, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Sangeeta Malhotra, SESE, Arizona State Univ. (United States)
Mark McCaughrean, Univ. of Exeter (United Kingdom)
Robert O'Connell, Univ. of Virginia (United States)
Sally Oey, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Debbie Padgett, SSC, California Institute of Technology (United States)
James Rhoads, SESE, Arizona State Univ. (United States)
Aki Roberge, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Nathan Smith, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Daniel Stern, NASA-JPL (United States)
Jason Tumlinson, Yale Univ. (United States)
Rogier Windhorst, SESE, Arizona State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7010:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
Jacobus M. Oschmann; Mattheus W. M. de Graauw; Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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