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Proceedings Paper

CASIMIR: a high resolution far-IR/submm spectrometer for airborne astronomy
Author(s): Michael L. Edgar; Martin Emprechtinger; Alexandre Karpov; Robert Lin; Sean Lin; Frank Maiwald; Imran Mehdi; David Miller; Simon J. E. Radford; Frank Rice; John Ward; Jonas Zmuidzinas
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Paper Abstract

CASIMIR, the Caltech Airborne Submillimeter Interstellar Medium Investigations Receiver, is a far-infrared and submillimeter heterodyne spectrometer, being developed for the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA. CASIMIR will use newly developed superconducting-insulating-superconducting (SIS) mixers. Combined with the 2.5 m mirror of SOFIA, these detectors will allow observations with high sensitivity to be made in the frequency range from 500 GHz up to 1.4 THz. Initially, at least 5 frequency bands in this range are planned, each with a 4-8 GHz IF passband. Up to 4 frequency bands will be available on each flight and bands may be swapped readily between flights. The local oscillators for all bands are synthesized and tuner-less, using solid state multipliers. CASIMIR also uses a novel, commercial, field-programmable gate array (FPGA) based, fast Fourier transform spectrometer, with extremely high resolution, 22000 (268 kHz at 6 GHz), yielding a system resolution > 106. CASIMIR is extremely well suited to observe the warm, ≈ 100K, interstellar medium, particularly hydrides and water lines, in both galactic and extragalactic sources. We present an overview of the instrument, its capabilities and systems. We also describe recent progress in development of the local oscillators and present our first astronomical observations obtained with the new type of spectrometer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77351V (15 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857706
Show Author Affiliations
Michael L. Edgar, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Martin Emprechtinger, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Alexandre Karpov, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Robert Lin, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Sean Lin, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Frank Maiwald, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Imran Mehdi, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
David Miller, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Simon J. E. Radford, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Frank Rice, California Institute of Technology (United States)
John Ward, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Raytheon Co. (United States)
Jonas Zmuidzinas, California Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7735:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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