24 September 2012 The FORCAST mid-infrared facility instrument and in-flight performance on SOFIA
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FORCAST has completed 16 engineering and science flights as the “First Light” U. S. science instrument aboard SOFIA and will be commissioned as a SOFIA facility instrument in 2013. FORCAST offers dual channel imaging (diffractionlimited at wavelengths < 15 microns) using a 256 x 256 pixel Si:As blocked impurity band (BIB) detector at 5 - 28 microns and a 256 x 256 pixel Si:Sb BIB detector at 28 - 40 microns. FORCAST images a 3.4 arcmin × 3.2 arcmin fieldof- view on SOFIA with a rectified plate scale of 0.768 arcsec/pixel. In addition to imaging capability, FORCAST offers a facility mode for grism spectroscopy that will commence during SOFIA Cycle 1. The grism suite enables spectroscopy over nearly the entire FORCAST wavelength range at low resolution (~140 - 300). Optional cross-dispersers boost the spectroscopic resolution to ~1200 at 5 - 8 microns and ~800 at 9.8 – 13.7 microns. Here we describe the FORCAST instrument including observing modes for SOFIA Cycle 1. We also summarize in-flight results, including detector and optical performance, sensitivity performance, and calibration.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Joseph D. Adams, Joseph D. Adams, Terry L. Herter, Terry L. Herter, George E. Gull, George E. Gull, Justin Schoenwald, Justin Schoenwald, Charles P Henderson, Charles P Henderson, Luke D. Keller, Luke D. Keller, James M. De Buizer, James M. De Buizer, Gordon J. Stacey, Gordon J. Stacey, Thomas Nikola, Thomas Nikola, William D. Vacca, William D. Vacca, Lea Hirsch, Lea Hirsch, Jason Wang, Jason Wang, L. Andrew Helton, L. Andrew Helton, } "The FORCAST mid-infrared facility instrument and in-flight performance on SOFIA", Proc. SPIE 8446, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 844616 (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926600; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.926600


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