From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2016
The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), project has been operating airborne astronomy flights from Palmdale, California since 2011. The observatory consists of a modified 747-SP aircraft with a 2.5-meter telescope in its aft section. SOFIA has a suite of eight science instruments spanning visible to far-infrared wavelengths. For the majority of the year SOFIA operates out of the Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, giving access to Northern Hemisphere targets. SOFIA’s mobility also allows observations in the Southern Hemisphere (Christchurch, New Zealand), of objects such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the Galactic Center, and Eta Carinae In 2016, SOFIA added polarimetry capability on SOFIA, with HAWC+ commissioning flights. Selected science results, current instrument suite status, new capabilities, and some expectations of future instrument developments over the lifetime of the observatory will be discussed.
E. E. Becklin, E. T. Young, and M. L. Savage, "Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)," Proc. SPIE 9973, Infrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XXIV, 99730I (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 30, 2016; Published: 14 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238788.
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