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1 September 2009 On sky testing of the SOFIA telescope in preparation for the first science observations
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Abstract
SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is an airborne observatory that will study the universe in the infrared spectrum. A Boeing 747-SP aircraft will carry a 2.5 m telescope designed to make sensitive infrared measurements of a wide range of astronomical objects. In 2008, SOFIA's primary mirror was demounted and coated for the first time. After reintegration into the telescope assembly in the aircraft, the alignment of the telescope optics was repeated and successive functional and performance testing of the fully integrated telescope assembly was completed on the ground. The High-speed Imaging Photometer for Occultations (HIPO) was used as a test instrument for aligning the optics and calibrating and tuning the telescope's pointing and control system in preparation for the first science observations in flight. In this paper, we describe the mirror coating process, the subsequent telescope testing campaigns and present the results.
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Franziska Harms, Jürgen Wolf, Patrick Waddell, Edward Dunham, Andreas Reinacher, Ulrich Lampater, Holger Jakob, Lisa Bjarke, Sybil Adams, Randy Grashuis, Allan Meyer, Kenneth Bower, Keith Schweikhard, and Thomas Keilig "On sky testing of the SOFIA telescope in preparation for the first science observations", Proc. SPIE 7453, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XVII, 745303 (1 September 2009); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.828609
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