15 July 2010 CASIMIR: a high resolution far-IR/submm spectrometer for airborne astronomy
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Abstract
CASIMIR, the Caltech Airborne Submillimeter Interstellar Medium Investigations Receiver, is a far-infrared and submillimeter heterodyne spectrometer, being developed for the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA. CASIMIR will use newly developed superconducting-insulating-superconducting (SIS) mixers. Combined with the 2.5 m mirror of SOFIA, these detectors will allow observations with high sensitivity to be made in the frequency range from 500 GHz up to 1.4 THz. Initially, at least 5 frequency bands in this range are planned, each with a 4-8 GHz IF passband. Up to 4 frequency bands will be available on each flight and bands may be swapped readily between flights. The local oscillators for all bands are synthesized and tuner-less, using solid state multipliers. CASIMIR also uses a novel, commercial, field-programmable gate array (FPGA) based, fast Fourier transform spectrometer, with extremely high resolution, 22000 (268 kHz at 6 GHz), yielding a system resolution > 106. CASIMIR is extremely well suited to observe the warm, ≈ 100K, interstellar medium, particularly hydrides and water lines, in both galactic and extragalactic sources. We present an overview of the instrument, its capabilities and systems. We also describe recent progress in development of the local oscillators and present our first astronomical observations obtained with the new type of spectrometer.
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Michael L. Edgar, Michael L. Edgar, Martin Emprechtinger, Martin Emprechtinger, Alexandre Karpov, Alexandre Karpov, Robert Lin, Robert Lin, Sean Lin, Sean Lin, Frank Maiwald, Frank Maiwald, Imran Mehdi, Imran Mehdi, David Miller, David Miller, Simon J. E. Radford, Simon J. E. Radford, Frank Rice, Frank Rice, John Ward, John Ward, Jonas Zmuidzinas, Jonas Zmuidzinas, } "CASIMIR: a high resolution far-IR/submm spectrometer for airborne astronomy", Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77351V (15 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857706; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857706
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