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Proceedings Paper

Sensitive far-IR survey spectroscopy: BLISS for SPICA
Author(s): C. M. Bradford; Matt Kenyon; Warren Holmes; James Bock; Timothy Koch
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Paper Abstract

We present a concept for BLISS, a sensitive far-IR-submillimeter spectrograph for SPICA. SPICA is a JAXA-led mission featuring a 3.5-meter telescope actively cooled to below 5K, envisioned for launch in 2017. The low-background platform is especially compelling for moderate-resolution survey spectroscopy, for which BLISS is designed. The BLISS / SPICA combination will offer line sensitivities below 10-20W m-2 in modest integrations, enabling rapid survey spectroscopy of galaxies out to redshift 5. The far-IR fine-structure and molecular transitions which BLISS / SPICA will measure are immune to dust extinction, and will unambiguously reveal these galaxies' redshifts, stellar and AGN contents, gas properties, and heavy-element abundances. Taken together, such spectra will reveal the history of galaxies from 1 GY after the Big Bang to the present day. BLISS is comprised of five sub-bands, each with two R ~ 700 grating spectrometer modules. The modules are configured with polarizing and dichroic splitters to provide complete instantaneous spectral coverage in two sky positions. To approach background-limited performance, BLISS detectors must have sensitivities at or below 5 × 10-20W Hz-1/2, and the format is 10 arrays of several hundred pixels each. It is anticipated that these requirements can be met on SPICA's timescale with leg-isolated superconducting (TES) bolometers cooled with a 50 mK magnetic refrigerator.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7020, Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 70201O (19 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.790156
Show Author Affiliations
C. M. Bradford, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Matt Kenyon, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Warren Holmes, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
James Bock, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Timothy Koch, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7020:
Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy IV
William D. Duncan; Wayne S. Holland; Stafford Withington; Jonas Zmuidzinas, Editor(s)

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