AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 93 The Herschel Far-Infrared Submillimeter Astronomy Mission
Special Session, Thursday, June 3, 2004, 2:00-3:30pm, 707/709

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[93.04] Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI)for the Herschel Space Observatory

T. de Graauw (SRON and Univ. of Leiden)

The Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared is a single-pixel, high-resolution (> 300.000) heterodyne spectrometer for ESA's Herschel Space Observatory. The instrument comprises 5 frequency bands covering 480-150 GHz with SIS mixers and a sixth dual-band for the 1410-1910 GHz range, utilising Hot Electron Bolometer (HEB)mixers. The instantaneous frequency coverage is 4 GHz. Each frequency band has two mixers operating simultaneously at orthogonal polarisations. All mixers are designed to have noise performance close to the quantum noise limit. One frequency band is operated at a time. Because of its high spectral resolution and wide frequency coverage, HIFI is expected to make a deep impact on a wide variety of astrophysical investigations, ranging from comets, planetary-satellite atmospheres, star formation, and AGB stars to galactic nuclei. The main science drivers are emission and absorption lines of Water, N[II] and C[II] emission in the ISM , and a molecular inventory of regions as shocked molecular clouds, dense Photon-Dominated Regions (PDRs), diffuse atomic clouds, Hot Cores and proto-planetary disks around newly formed stars, winds from dying stars and toroids interacting with AGN engines.

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