22 July 2014 SOFIA pointing history
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Abstract
The original pointing accuracy requirement of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy SOFIA was defined at the beginning of the program in the late 1980s as very challenging 0.2 arcsec rms. The early science flights of the observatory started in December 2010 and the observatory has reached in the mean time nearly 0.7 arcsec rms, which is sufficient for most of the SOFIA science instruments. NASA and DLR, the owners of SOFIA, are planning now a future 4 year program to bring the pointing down to the ultimate 0.2 arcsec rms. This may be the right time to recall the history of the pointing requirement and its verification and the possibility of its achievement via early computer models and wind tunnel tests, later computer aided end-to-end simulations up to the first commissioning flights some years ago. The paper recollects the tools used in the different project phases for the verification of the pointing performance, explains the achievements and may give hints for the planning of the upcoming final pointing improvement phase.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Hans J. Kärcher, Hans J. Kärcher, Nans Kunz, Nans Kunz, Pasquale Temi, Pasquale Temi, Alfred Krabbe, Alfred Krabbe, Jörg Wagner, Jörg Wagner, Martin Süß, Martin Süß, } "SOFIA pointing history", Proc. SPIE 9145, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes V, 91450S (22 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055463; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2055463
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