27 June 2006 GREAT: the German first light heterodyne instrument for SOFIA
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Abstract
GREAT, the German REceiver for Astronomy at Terahertz frequencies, is a first generation SOFIA dual channel heterodyne PI-instrument for high resolution spectroscopy. The system is developed by a consortium of German research institutes. The receiver will allow simultaneous observations in two out of the following three far-infrared frequency bands: a 1.4-1.9 THz channel for e.g. the fine-structure line of ionized carbon [CII] at 158μm; a 2.4-2.7 THz channel for e.g. the 112μm transition of HD; and a 4.7 THz channel for the 63 μm fine-structure line of neutral atomic oxygen. Hot electron bolometers (HEB) mixers provide state of the art sensitivity. A spectral resolving power of up to 108 is achieved with chirp transform spectrometers, and a total bandwidth of 4 GHz at 1 MHz resolution is reached with wide band acousto-optical spectrometers. The modular concept of GREAT allows to observe with any combination of two out of the three channels aboard SOFIA. A more complete frequency coverage of the THz regime by adding additional GREAT channels is possible in the future. The adaptation of new LO-, mixer- or backend-techniques is easily possible. We describe details of the receiver and the results of first performance tests of the system at 1.9 THz.
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Urs U. Graf, Stefan Heyminck, Rolf Güsten, Paul Hartogh, Heinz-Wilhelm Hübers, Karl Jacobs, Martin Philipp, David Rabanus, Hans-Peter Röser, Jürgen Stutzki, Peter van der Wal, Armin Wagner-Gentner, "GREAT: the German first light heterodyne instrument for SOFIA", Proc. SPIE 6275, Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 62750K (27 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.673168; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.673168
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