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9 July 2008 Ground-based commissioning of FLITECAM
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FLITECAM is a 1-5 micron spectrometer and camera developed at UCLA for NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). On SOFIA, FLITECAM will take advantage of lower backgrounds from 3-5 microns and will provide access to spectral regions completely or partially absorbed by water vapor at even the best ground-based sites. FLITECAM employs large cryogenic optics and an ALADDIN III 1024 × 1024 InSb detector to inscribe an 8 arcminute field of view with 0.48 arcsec/pixel spatial resolution. The optical components are cooled with liquid nitrogen and a liquid helium reservoir is used to establish an operational temperature of 30 K for the InSb array. FLITECAM has two primary observing modes, imaging and spectroscopy. A pupil-viewing mode, for examination of the primary mirror surface, and a high-speed snapshot mode for occultation observations are also provided. Ground-based commissioning of the instrument using the Shane 3-meter telescope at UCO/Lick Observatory has been completed successfully. In addition to broad-band filters, the imaging mode accommodates several narrow-band filters. A data reduction pipeline processes dithered image sets in real-time during the flight. The grism spectroscopy mode employs three direct-ruled KRS-5 grisms and fixed slits of either 1" × 60" or 2 × 60" to yield resolving powers (FWHM) of R~1700 and 900 respectively. Observations are scripted using AORs (Astronomical Observation Requests) in both modes. A pilot survey of 3.3 micron emission in planetary nebulae performed with FLITECAM at UCO/Lick Observatory demonstrates the potential of the grism mode.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Erin C. Smith and Ian S. McLean "Ground-based commissioning of FLITECAM", Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 701411 (9 July 2008);


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