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Proceedings Paper

The SOFIA telescope: preparing for early science
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Paper Abstract

The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA is a unique aircraft with the telescope optics exposed to extreme environment in the open port of a Boeing 747SP. The aircraft with the integrated telescope was transferred last year to the NASA Dryden Flight research Center in California and, in December 2007 successfully completed its first closed door test flight with the telescope systems in operation. The first open door flights are planned in the second half 2008, the first early science flights are to follow in spring 2009. The telescope is equipped with several design features, such as a vibration isolation system, a flexible body control system and - potentially - active mass dampers, to handle excitations in different frequency ranges. We present a progress report and describe the recent achievements as well as the status of the telescope. We also provide an update of the SOFIA pointing system, and the planned in-flight tests.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 July 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7012, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II, 70123T (10 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.792151
Show Author Affiliations
Hans J. Kärcher, MT Mechatronics GmbH (Germany)
Alfred Krabbe, I. Physikalisches Institut, Univ. zu Köln (Germany)
Thomas Wegmann, Deutsches SOFIA Institut, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7012:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi, Editor(s)

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