AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 63. Future Airborne and Space Instruments
Display, Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 10:00am-7:00pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[63.01] Performance Summaries for SOFIA Science Instruments

A. W. Meyer, E. F. Erickson (NASA Ames Research Center)

SOFIA will permit observations from the visible to mm wavelengths, and offer higher spectral and spatial resolution than any other facility at some wavelengths in this range. Nine focal-plane instruments are being developed to exploit this capability during the first several years of SOFIA operation. These instruments are being built at universities, at research institutes in Germany, and at NASA'S Goddard Space Flight Center. The broad wavelength span OF SOFIA implies a wide variety of science instrument characteristics, including detector technologies, spectral definition techniques, and science objectives.

Here we summarize the performance of the nine instruments in relatively uniform format to facilitate evaluation of feasibility of desired observations. For each instrument, three basic aspects are described:

(1) Spectral resolution or passbands

(2) Sensitivity for emission lines and/or continuum

(3) Angular resolution

Spectral resolution ranges from several hundred km/s down to 0.01 km/s; some of the instruments have several modes spanning several orders of magnitude within this range. Sensitivities for continuum and for emission line integrated fluxes are given in Janskies and W/m2 respectively, for specified integration time and S/N. For reference some Pogson magnitudes are also given at short (visible, near-IR) wavelengths, and some antenna temperature values are also given at submm wavelengths. Angular resolution is expressed as the FWHM beam size in seconds of arc, as a function of wavelength. With this compilation of basic performance, any researcher may estimate the feasibility of potential observations with any of the first generation instruments. The performance summaries are available online at the SOFIA web site:

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://sofia.arc.nasa.gov. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ameyer@mail.arc.nasa.gov

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.