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Proceedings Paper

MegaMIR: a Fizeau thermal infrared camera for the LBTI
Author(s): A. K. Mainzer; Erick Young; John Hong; Phil Hinz; Mike Werner; Varoujan Gorjian; Michael E. Ressler
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Paper Abstract

The Megapixel Mid-infrared Instrument (MegaMIR) is a proposed Fizeau-mode camera for the Large Binocular Telescope operating at wavelengths between 5 and 28 μm. The camera will be used in conjunction with the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI), a cryogenic optical system that combines the beams from twin 8.4-m telescopes in a phase coherent manner. Unlike other interferometric systems, the co-mounted telescopes on the LBT satisfy the sine condition, providing diffraction-limited resolution over the 40" field of view of the camera. With a 22.8-m baseline, MegaMIR will yield 0.1" angular resolution, making it the highest resolution wide field imager in the thermal infrared for at least the next decade. MegaMIR will utilize a newly developed 1024 x 1024 pixel Si:As detector array that has been optimized for use at high backgrounds. This new detector is a derivative of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) low-background detector. The combination of high angular resolution and wide field imaging will be a unique scientific capability for astronomy. Key benefits will be realized in planetary science, galactic, and extra-galactic astronomy. High angular resolution is essential to disentangle highly complex sources, particularly in star formation regions and external galaxies, and MegaMIR provides this performance over a full field of view. Because of the great impact being made by space observatories like the Spitzer Space Telescope, the number of available targets for study has greatly increased in recent years, and MegaMIR will allow efficient follow up science.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 June 2006
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6269, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy, 626910 (28 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.670380
Show Author Affiliations
A. K. Mainzer, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Erick Young, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
John Hong, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Phil Hinz, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Mike Werner, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Varoujan Gorjian, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Michael E. Ressler, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6269:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy
Ian S. McLean; Masanori Iye, Editor(s)

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