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12 October 2004 The science case and mission concept for the Single Aperture Far-Infrared (SAFIR) Observatory
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SAFIR is a large (10 m-class), cold (4-10 K) space telescope for wavelengths between 20 microns and 1 mm. It will provide sensitivity a factor of a hundred or more greater than that of Spitzer and Herschel, leveraging their capabilities and building on their scientific legacies. Covering this scientifically critical wavelength regime, it will complement the expected wavelength performance of the future flagship endeavors JWST and ALMA. This vision mission will probe the origin of stars and galaxies in the early universe, and explore the formation of solar systems around nearby young stars. Endorsed as a priority by the Decadal Study and successive OSS roadmaps, SAFIR represents a huge science need that is matched by promising and innovative technologies that will allow us to satisfy it. In exercising those technologies it will create the path for future infrared missions. This paper reviews the scientific goals of the mission and promising approaches for its architecture, and considers remaining technological hurdles. We review how SAFIR responds to the scientific challenges in the OSS Strategic Plan, and how the observatory can be brought within technological reach.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Daniel F. Lester, Dominic J. Benford, Andrew Blain, Charles M. Bradford, Mark Dragovan, William Langer, Charles R. Lawrence, David T. Leisawitz, John C. Mather, Samuel Harvey Moseley, Lee G. Mundy, George H. Rieke, Gordon Stacey, Harold W. Yorke, and Erick T. Young "The science case and mission concept for the Single Aperture Far-Infrared (SAFIR) Observatory", Proc. SPIE 5487, Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Space Telescopes, (12 October 2004);


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