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Proceedings Paper

The Stratospheric THz Observatory (STO)
Author(s): C. Walker; C. Kulesa; P. Bernasconi; H. Eaton; N. Rolander; C. Groppi; J. Kloosterman; T. Cottam; D. Lesser; C. Martin; A. Stark; D. Neufeld; C. Lisse; D. Hollenbach; J. Kawamura; P. Goldsmith; W. Langer; H. Yorke; J. Sterne; A. Skalare; I. Mehdi; S. Weinreb; J. Kooi; J. Stutzki; U. Graf; M. Brasse; C. Honingh; R. Simon; M. Akyilmaz; P. Puetz; Mark Wolfire
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Paper Abstract

The Stratospheric TeraHertz Observatory (STO) is a NASA funded, Long Duration Balloon (LDB) experiment designed to address a key problem in modern astrophysics: understanding the Life Cycle of the Interstellar Medium (ISM). STO will survey a section of the Galactic plane in the dominant interstellar cooling line [C II] (1.9 THz) and the important star formation tracer [N II] (1.46 THz) at ~1 arc minute angular resolution, sufficient to spatially resolve atomic, ionic and molecular clouds at 10 kpc. STO itself has three main components; 1) an 80 cm optical telescope, 2) a THz instrument package, and 3) a gondola [1]. Both the telescope and gondola have flown on previous experiments [2,3]. They have been reoptimized for the current mission. The science flight receiver package will contain four [CII] and four [NII] HEB mixers, coupled to a digital spectrometer. The first engineering test flight of STO was from Ft. Sumner, NM on October 15, 2009. The ~30 day science flight is scheduled for December 2011.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7733, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III, 77330N (28 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857765
Show Author Affiliations
C. Walker, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
C. Kulesa, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
P. Bernasconi, The Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
H. Eaton, The Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
N. Rolander, The Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
C. Groppi, The Arizona State Univ. (United States)
J. Kloosterman, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
T. Cottam, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
D. Lesser, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
C. Martin, Oberlin College (United States)
A. Stark, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
D. Neufeld, The Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
C. Lisse, The Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
D. Hollenbach, SETI Institute (United States)
J. Kawamura, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
P. Goldsmith, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
W. Langer, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
H. Yorke, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
J. Sterne, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
A. Skalare, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
I. Mehdi, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
S. Weinreb, California Institute of Technology (United States)
J. Kooi, California Institute of Technology (United States)
J. Stutzki, Univ. zu Köln (Germany)
U. Graf, Univ. zu Köln (Germany)
M. Brasse, Univ. zu Köln (Germany)
C. Honingh, Univ. zu Köln (Germany)
R. Simon, Univ. zu Köln (Germany)
M. Akyilmaz, Univ. zu Köln (Germany)
P. Puetz, Univ. zu Köln (Germany)
Mark Wolfire, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7733:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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