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Th. de Graauw (SRON-Leiden University), E. Caux (CESR, Toulouse), R. Guesten (MPIfRA, Bonn), F. Helmich (SRON-Groningen), J. Pearson (NASA-JPL, Pasadena), T.G. Phillips (CalTech, Pasadena), R. Schieder (KOSMA, Koeln), X. Tielens (Kapteyn Institute, Groningen), P. Saraceno (IFSI, Roma), J. Stutzki (KOSMA, Koeln), C.K. Wafelbakker (SRON-Utrecht), N.D. Whyborn (SRON-Groningen)
We describe the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI) which is a high-resolution (>300.000) spectrometer for ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, that is planned to be in operation by 2008. The instrument is designed to provide a wide and continuous frequency coverage with velocity resolved resolution and high sensitivity. This will allow detailed investigations of a wide variety of astronomical sources, ranging from solar system objects, star formation regions to nuclei of galaxies. The operating frequency range cover many emission and absorption lines of molecules, like H2O and OH, and numerous atomic and ionic lines, like CII and NII. We will present the scientific capabilities and desribe a number of planned GT Key Programs. The instrument comprises 5 frequency bands covering 480-1150 GHz with SIS mixers and a sixth dual frequency band for the 1410-1910 GHz range with Hot Electron Bolometer Mixers (HEBM). One frequency band is operating at a time with a single sky-pixel. The Local Oscillator (LO) subsystem consists of 14 chains of frequency multipliers, 2 chains for each frequency band. Each frequency band has two mixers operating on orthogonal polarisations. All mixers are designed to have noise performance close to the quantum noise limit. A pair of Auto-Correlators and a pair of Acousto-Optic spectrometers process the two IF signals from the dual-polarisation front-ends and provide instantaneous frequency coverage of 4 GHz, resulting in a set of resolutions (140 KHz to 1 MHz), better than < 0.1 Km/s.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.