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30 September 2004 First test results from FORCAST: the facility mid-IR camera for SOFIA
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We report laboratory tests amd development progress for the Faint Object Infrared Camera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST). FORCAST is a two-channel camera with selectable filters for continuum and line imaging in the 5 - 40 micron wavelength region. Simultaneous imaging will be possible in the two channels: 5 - 25 microns using a Si:As 256x256 blocked impurity band (BIB) detector array, and 25-40 microns using a Si:Sb BIB. FORCAST will sample 0.75 arcseconds per pixel allowing a 3.2'x3.2' instantaneous field-of view in both channels simultaneously. Imaging will be diffracted limited for lambda> 15 microns on the SOFIA telescope. Since FORCAST operates in the wavelength range where the seeing is best from SOFIA, it will provide the highest spatial resolution possible from the airborne observatory. In addition to imaging, the FORCAST optical design provides for a simple upgrade to include spectroscopic observations using grisms mounted in the filter wheels. FORCAST will be available for facility testing and astronomical observations at SOFIA first (f)light.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Luke D Keller, Terry Herter, Gordon Stacey, George Gull, Justin Schoenwald, Bruce Pirger, Joseph Adams, Marc Berthoud, and Thomas Nikola "First test results from FORCAST: the facility mid-IR camera for SOFIA", Proc. SPIE 5492, Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy, (30 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552333;


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