15 July 2016 Observing with FIFI-LS on SOFIA: time estimates and strategies to use a field imaging spectrometer on an airborne observatory
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Observing on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) requires a strategy that takes the specific circumstances of an airborne platform into account. Observations of a source cannot be extended or shortened on the spot due to flight path constraints. Still, no exact prediction of the time on source is available since there are always wind and weather conditions, and sometimes technical issues. Observations have to be planned to maximize the observing efficiency while maintaining full flexibility for changes during the observation. The complex nature of observations with FIFI-LS - such as the interlocking cycles of the mechanical gratings, telescope nodding and dithering - is considered in the observing strategy as well. Since SOFIA Cycle 3 FIFI-LS is available to general investigators. Therefore general investigators must be able to define the necessary parameters simply, without being familiar with the instrument, still resulting in efficient and flexible observations. We describe the observing process with FIFI-LS including the integration time estimate, the mapping and dithering setup and aspects of the scripting for the actual observations performed in flight. We also give an overview of the observing scenarios, which have proven to be useful for FIFI-LS.
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Christian Fischer, Christian Fischer, Aaron Bryant, Aaron Bryant, Siman Beckmann, Siman Beckmann, Sebastian Colditz, Sebastian Colditz, Fabio Fumi, Fabio Fumi, Norbert Geis, Norbert Geis, Thomas Henning, Thomas Henning, Rainer Hönle, Rainer Hönle, Christof Iserlohe, Christof Iserlohe, Randolf Klein, Randolf Klein, Alfred Krabbe, Alfred Krabbe, Leslie W. Looney, Leslie W. Looney, Albrecht Poglitsch, Albrecht Poglitsch, Walfried Raab, Walfried Raab, Felix Rebell, Felix Rebell, Christopher Trinh, Christopher Trinh, "Observing with FIFI-LS on SOFIA: time estimates and strategies to use a field imaging spectrometer on an airborne observatory", Proc. SPIE 9910, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI, 991027 (15 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232148; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2232148


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