21 September 2012 The SAFARI imaging spectrometer for the SPICA space observatory
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Abstract
The Japanese SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics, SPICA, will provide astronomers with a long awaited new window on the universe. Having a large cold telescope cooled to only 6K above absolute zero, SPICA will provide a unique environment where instruments are limited only by the cosmic background itself. A consortium of European and Canadian institutes has been established to design and implement the SpicA FAR infrared Instrument SAFARI, an imaging spectrometer designed to fully exploit this extremely low far infrared background environment provided by the SPICA observatory. SAFARI’s large instantaneous field of view combined with the extremely sensitive Transition Edge Sensing detectors will allow astronomers to very efficiently map large areas of the sky in the far infrared – in a square degree survey of a 1000 hours many thousands of faint sources will be detected, and a very large fraction of these sources will be fully spectroscopically characterised by the instrument. Efficiently obtaining such a large number of complete spectra is essential to address several fundamental questions in current astrophysics: how do galaxies form and evolve over cosmic time?, what is the true nature of our own Milky Way?, and why and where do planets like those in our own solar system come into being?
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Peter Roelfsema, Martin Giard, Francisco Najarro, Kees Wafelbakker, Willem Jellema, Brian Jackson, Bruce Swinyard, Marc Audard, Yasuo Doi, Matt Griffin, Frank Helmich, Franz Kerschbaum, Michael Meyer, David Naylor, Hans Nielsen, Göran Olofsson, Albrecht Poglitsch, Luigi Spinoglio, Bart Vandenbussche, Kate Isaak, Javier R. Goicoechea, "The SAFARI imaging spectrometer for the SPICA space observatory", Proc. SPIE 8442, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 84420R (21 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.927010; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.927010
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