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Sample records for infrared space observatory

  1. The Infrared Space Observatory (ISO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helou, George; Kessler, Martin F.

    1995-01-01

    ISO, scheduled to launch in 1995, will carry into orbit the most sophisticated infrared observatory of the decade. Overviews of the mission, instrument payload and scientific program are given, along with a comparison of the strengths of ISO and SOFIA.

  2. Introduction to the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kessler, M. F.; Sibille, F.

    1989-01-01

    The Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) is an astronomical satellite, which will operate at infrared wavelengths (2.5 to 200 microns) for a period of at least 18 months. Imaging, spectroscopic, photometric and polarimetric observations will be obtained by four scientific instruments in the focal plane of its 60-cm diameter, cryogenically-cooled telescope. Two-thirds of ISO's observing time will be available to the astronomical community. ISO is a fully approved and funded project of the European Space Agency (ESA) with a foreseen launch date of May 1993.

  3. The Herschel Space Observatory, Opening the Far Infrared

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, John C.

    2009-06-01

    The Herschel Space Observatory (Herschel) is a multi user observatory operated by the European Space Agency with a significant NASA contribution. Herschel features a passively cooled 3.5 meter telescope expected to operate near 78 Kelvin and three cryogenic instruments covering the 670 to 57 μm spectral region. The mission life time, determined by the consumption of 2500 liters of liquid helium, is expected to be at least 3.5 years with at least 3 years of operational lifetime in an L2 orbit. The three payload instruments are the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE), Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS), and the Heterodyne Instrument for Far Infrared (HIFI). SPIRE covers 200-670 μm and is a three band bolometer based photometer and a two band imaging Martin-Puplett FTS with a spectral resolution of up to 600. PACS covers 57-200 μm and is a three band bolometer based photometer and a grating slit spectrometer illuminating photoconductor arrays in two bands with a resolution of up to 5000. HIFI covers 480-1272 GHz and 1440-1910 GHz and is a series of seven dual polarization heterodyne receivers with a spectral resolution up to 5×10^6. The observatory performance, selected science program and upcoming opportunities will be discussed.

  4. Participation in the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joseph, Robert D.

    2002-01-01

    All the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) data have been transmitted from the ISO Data Centre, reduced, and calibrated. This has been rather labor-intensive as new calibrations for both the ISOPHOT and ISOCAM data have been released and the algorithms for data reduction have improved. We actually discovered errors in the calibration in earlier versions of the software. However the data reduction improvements have now converged and we have a self-consistent, well-calibrated database. It has also been a major effort to obtain the ground-based JHK imaging, 450 micrometer and 850 micrometer imaging and the 1-2.5 micrometer near-infrared spectroscopy for most of the sample galaxies.

  5. Characterizing the Infrared Space Observatory Science Data Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Micol, A.; Stébé, A.; Ortiz, I.; Salgado, J.; Arviset, C.

    2008-08-01

    The ESA Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) ended its mission in 1998. The so-called Post Operational Phase, during which both the quality of the scientific data and the functionality of the ISO archive were improved, ended in 2006. Meanwhile, the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) is coming up with a new standard to enable common characterisation of astronomical data, the Characterisation Data Model. The main aim of it is to define the high level metadata necessary to describe the physical parameter space of the observed, or otherwise simulated, astronomical data (being them images, spectra, etc.), and to allow enhanced interoperability to the astronomers. Given the maturity of the ISO archive on one side, and the new ability to standardise onto typical characteristics of the scientific data products on the other, it has been decided, within the ESAVO effort, to apply the characterisation concepts and standards to the ISO science data. In this paper we will review such process and present how we can now map the well established ISO metadata, stored in the ISO archive databases, to the elements of the characterisation data model, via the ESAVO DMMapper. Such mapping allows queries to be performed without prior knowledge of the internal structure and organisation of the ISO data archive, a big step toward the interoperability of any data centre.

  6. Infrared space observatory photometry of circumstellar dust in Vega-type systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fajardo-Acosta, S. B.; Stencel, R. E.; Backman, D. E.; Thakur, N.

    1998-01-01

    The ISOPHOT (Infrared Space Observatory Photometry) instrument onboard the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) was used to obtain 3.6-90 micron photometry of Vega-type systems. Photometric data were calibrated with the ISOPHOT fine calibration source 1 (FCS1). Linear regression was used to derive transformations to make comparisons to ground-based and IRAS photometry systems possible. These transformations were applied to the photometry of 14 main-sequence stars. Details of these results are reported on.

  7. A Mid-infrared Space Observatory for Characterizing Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, S. R.; Scharf, D. P.; Wirz, R.; Purcell, G.; Rodriguez, J.

    2010-10-01

    The TPF-Darwin planet-finding concept is a space-based mid-IR nulling interferometer consisting of four formation flying reflecting mirrors focusing light into a separate beam combiner spacecraft. As a flagship mission it is a highly capable instrument with the principal science goal of detecting Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars (up to 15 parsec) from their thermal emission, and characterizing their physical properties. Measurements can be made of the size, temperature, orbit, and of the presence of an atmosphere with moderate resolution (R = 50) spectra to reveal bio-markers such as ozone, carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. The sensitivity is such that a whole planetary system down to half Earth-size planets can be detected in a single day and in a five-year mission life, revisits and repeat detections would reveal the system dynamics. For the most interesting objects, longer measurement series would reveal the detailed thermal spectrum; these measurements would take place in the later part of the mission. The system also has a general astrophysics capability for investigations of distant compact objects and the mission timeline provides ample opportunities for such observations. The mission would use a single heavy launch vehicle to place the system at L2 Sun-Earth halo orbit. This poster shows the main mission elements, the spacecraft design and formation flying, and xenon-ion thruster technologies. Many of the ideas have been developed with European colleagues and the mission has potential to be a collaborative effort between the US and European space agencies.

  8. Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) Key Project: the Birth and Death of Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stencel, Robert E.; Creech-Eakman, Michelle; Fajardo-Acosta, Sergio; Backman, Dana

    1999-01-01

    This program was designed to continue to analyze observations of stars thought to be forming protoplanets, using the European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, as one of NASA Key Projects with ISO. A particular class of Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) discovered stars, known after the prototype, Vega, are principal targets for these observations aimed at examining the evidence for processes involved in forming, or failing to form, planetary systems around other stars. In addition, this program continued to provide partial support for related science in the WIRE, SOFIA and Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) projects, plus approved ISO supplementary time observations under programs MCREE1 29 and VEGADMAP. Their goals include time dependent changes in SWS spectra of Long Period Variable stars and PHOT P32 mapping experiments of recognized protoplanetary disk candidate stars.

  9. Cryogenic far-infrared laser absorptivity measurements of the Herschel Space Observatory telescope mirror coatings.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Jacqueline; Klaassen, Tjeerd; Hovenier, Niels; Jakob, Gerd; Poglitsch, Albrecht; Sternberg, Oren

    2004-07-01

    Far-infrared laser calorimetry was used to measure the absorptivity, and thus the emissivity, of aluminum-coated silicon carbide mirror samples produced during the coating qualification run of the Herschel Space Observatory telescope to be launched by the European Space Agency in 2007. The samples were measured at 77 K to simulate the operating temperature of the telescope in its planned orbit about the second Lagrangian point, L2, of the Earth-Sun system. Together, the telescope's equilibrium temperature in space and the emissivity of the mirror surfaces will determine the far-infrared-submillimeter background and thus the sensitivity of two of the three astronomical instruments aboard the observatory if stray-light levels can be kept low relative to the mirror emission. Absorptivities of both clean and dust-contaminated samples were measured at 70, 118, 184, and 496 microm. Theoretical fits to the data predict absorptivities of 0.2-0.4% for the clean sample and 0.2-0.8% for the dusty sample, over the spectral range of the Herschel Space Observatory instruments. PMID:15250543

  10. Initial cold ground tests of the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) satellite payload

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemke, Dietrich; Anderegg, M.; Cesarsky, Catherine J.; Clegg, Peter E.; Emery, Roger J.; de Graauw, Thijs; Katterloher, Reinhard O.; Kessler, Martin F.; Schaap, H.; Swinyard, Bruce M.; Tilgner, Clemens N.; Vigroux, Laurent G.; Wolf, Juergen

    1994-09-01

    The European Space Agency's ISO satellite is a liquid helium cooled space observatory for infrared astronomy. It will be launched for an 18 month mission in 1995 by the Ariane 4 rocket. The payload module contains a 60 cm telescope and 4 focal plane instruments covering the wavelength range 2.4 to 240 micrometers . During the first cold tests early in 1994, ISO's 2300 1 tank was partially filled with superfluid helium. The main purpose of this test was to check all the functions of the instruments and their compatibility in ISO's cryovacuum environment. In addition the straylight level caused by thermal emission of the cryostat's interior was measured by the focal plane instruments.

  11. Improving the Air Force Infrared Stellar Calibration Network with High Spectral Resolution Data from the Infrared Space Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraemer, K. E.; Engelke, C. W.; Price, S. D.

    2004-12-01

    We present preliminary results of a project to improve the spectral resolution of the Air Force Infrared Stellar Calibration Network by incorporating data from the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). This network and its deriviatives were created by Cohen and colleagues to support infrared calibration for government and civilian ground- and space-based observatories, such as the Infrared Telescope Facility, Gemini, and the Maui Optical Site. The reduced 2.4 to 45 μ m spectra from the ISO Short Wavelength Spectrometer (SWS) are up to 100 times higher spectral resolution than the current network data. Appropriately substituting these spectra for the standard stars will improve the accuracy of the calibration network, particularly in spectral regions where the atmosphere limits ground-based data, and permit more accurate calibration of very narrow spectral bandpasses. The initial effort has photometrically calibrated the SWS spectra for the 9 stellar or secondary standards with composites. The model atmosphere spectrum for α Cen has been replaced by SWS data; the model spectra for α CMa and α Lyr have been retained in order to preserve the common calibration pedigree with the original Cohen et al. network (although see Price et al. 2004, AJ, 128, 889). Where available, high quality photometry from the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) are used, supplemented by photometry from the Diffuse Infrared Background Experment (DIRBE) and the photometry used by Cohen et al. used to create the original composite. The next steps are to 1) replace the 10-15 tertiary standard stars with template spectra with measured spectra for the cases in which the SWS observations have sufficiently high signal-to-noise ratios (this will double the number of secondary standards); 2) develop a set of high spectral resolution infrared templates based on the SWS observations for each MK spectral class of the secondary standards with which to upgrade the entire network; 3) create new templates for

  12. Infrared-faint radio sources remain undetected at far-infrared wavelengths. Deep photometric observations using the Herschel Space Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herzog, A.; Norris, R. P.; Middelberg, E.; Spitler, L. R.; Leipski, C.; Parker, Q. A.

    2015-08-01

    Context. Showing 1.4 GHz flux densities in the range of a few to a few tens of mJy, infrared-faint radio sources (IFRS) are a type of galaxy characterised by faint or absent near-infrared counterparts and consequently extreme radio-to-infrared flux density ratios up to several thousand. Recent studies showed that IFRS are radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at redshifts ≳2, potentially linked to high-redshift radio galaxies (HzRGs). Aims: This work explores the far-infrared emission of IFRS, providing crucial information on the star forming and AGN activity of IFRS. Furthermore, the data enable examining the putative relationship between IFRS and HzRGs and testing whether IFRS are more distant or fainter siblings of these massive galaxies. Methods: A sample of six IFRS was observed with the Herschel Space Observatory between 100 μm and 500 μm. Using these results, we constrained the nature of IFRS by modelling their broad-band spectral energy distribution (SED). Furthermore, we set an upper limit on their infrared SED and decomposed their emission into contributions from an AGN and from star forming activity. Results: All six observed IFRS were undetected in all five Herschel far-infrared channels (stacking limits: σ = 0.74 mJy at 100 μm, σ = 3.45 mJy at 500 μm). Based on our SED modelling, we ruled out the following objects to explain the photometric characteristics of IFRS: (a) known radio-loud quasars and compact steep-spectrum sources at any redshift; (b) starburst galaxies with and without an AGN and Seyfert galaxies at any redshift, even if the templates were modified; and (c) known HzRGs at z ≲ 10.5. We find that the IFRS analysed in this work can only be explained by objects that fulfil the selection criteria of HzRGs. More precisely, IFRS could be (a) known HzRGs at very high redshifts (z ≳ 10.5); (b) low-luminosity siblings of HzRGs with additional dust obscuration at lower redshifts; (c) scaled or unscaled versions of Cygnus A at any

  13. THz Instrumentation for the Herschel Space Observatory's Heterodyne Instrument for Far Infrared

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearson, J. C.; Mehdi, I.; Ward, J. S.; Maiwald, F.; Ferber, R. R.; Leduc, H. G.; Schlecht, E. T.; Gill, J. J.; Hatch, W. A.; Kawamura, J. H.; Stern, J. A.; Gaier, T. C.; Samoska, L. A.; Weinreb, S.; Bumble, B.; Pukala, D. M.; Javadi, H. H.; Finamore, B. P.; Lin, R. H.; Dengler, R. J.; Velebir, J. R.; Luong, E. M.; Tsang, R.; Peralta, A .; Wells, M.

    2004-01-01

    The Heterodyne Instrument for Far Infrared (HIFI) on ESA's Herschel Space Observatory utilizes a variety of novel RF components in its five SIS receiver channels covering 480-1250 GHz and two HEB receiver channels covering 1410-1910 GHz. The local oscillator unit will be passively cooled while the focal plane unit is cooled by superfluid helium and cold helium vapors. HIFI employs W-band GaAs amplifiers, InP HEMT low noise IF amplifiers, fixed tuned broadband planar diode multipliers, high power W-bapd Isolators, and novel material systems in the SIS mixers. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is managing the development of the highest frequency (1119-1250 GHz) SIS mixers, the local oscillators oscillators for the three highest frequency receivers as well as W-band power amplifiers, high power W-band isolators, varactor diode devices for all high frequency multipliers and InP HEMT components for all the receiver channels intermediate frequency amplifiers. The NASA developed components represent a significant advancement in the available performance. This paper presents an update of the performance and the current state of development.

  14. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becklin, Eric E.

    2001-01-01

    The joint U.S. and German SOFIA project to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP is now well into development. First science flights will begin in 2004 with 20% of the observing time assigned to German investigators. The observatory is expected to operate for over 20 years. The sensitivity, characteristics and science instrument complement are discussed. Present and future instrumentation will allow unique astrobiology experiments to be carried out. Several experiments related to organic molecules in space will be discussed.

  15. GISMO, an ELT in space: a giant (30-m) far-infrared and submillimeter space observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawarden, Timothy G.; Johnstone, Callum; Johnstone, Graeme

    2004-07-01

    We describe GISMO, a concept for a 30-m class achromatic diffractive Fesnel space telescope operating in the far-IR and submillimeter from ~20 μm to ~700 μm. The concept is based on the precepts of Hyde (1999). It involves two units, the Lens and Instrument spacecraft, 3 km apart in a halo orbit around the Earth-Sun L2 point. The primary lens, L1, is a 30.1-m, 32-zone f/100 Fresnel lens, fabricated from ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE). It is 1.0 to 3.4 mm thick (the features are 2.4 mm high for a "design wavelength" of 1.2 mm) and made in 5 strips linked by fabric hinges. It is stowed for launch by folding and rolling. It is deployed warm, unrolled by pneumatic or mechanical means, unfolded by carbon-fiber struts with Shape Memory Alloy hinges and stiffened until cold by a peripheral inflatable ring. Re-oriented edgeways-on to the Sun behind a 5-layer sunshade, L1 will then cool by radiation to space, approaching ~10K after 200 - 300 days. The low equilibrium temperature occurs because the lens is very thin and has a huge view factor to space but a small one to the sunshade. The Instrument spacecraft resembles a smaller, colder (~4K) version of the James Webb Space Telescope and shares features of a concept for the SAFIR mission. A near-field Ritchey-Chretien telescope with a 3-segment off-axis 6m x 3m primary acts as field lens, re-imaging L1 on a 30-cm f/1 Fresnel Corrector lens of equal and opposite dispersion, producing an achromatic beam which is directed to a focal plane equipped with imaging and spectroscopic instruments. The "design wavelength" of the telescope is 1.2 mm and it is employed at its second and higher harmonics. The shortest wavelength, ~20μm, is set by the transmission properties of the lens material (illustrated here) and determines the design tolerances of the optical system. The overall mass is estimated at ~5 tonnes and the stowed length around 14 m. Technical challenges and areas of uncertainty for the design concept

  16. Infrared Space Observatory Mapping of 60 Micron Dust Emission around Vega-Type Systems: Erratum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fajardo-Acosta, S. B.; Stencel, R. E.; Backman, D. E.

    1998-08-01

    In the Letter ``Infrared Space Observatory Mapping of 60 Micron Dust Emission around Vega-type Systems'' by S. B. Fajardo-Acosta, R. E. Stencel, and D. E. Backman (ApJ, 487, L151 [1997]), there is an error in the equatorial coordinates that we assigned to our maps. Using preliminary versions of the PHOT Interactive Analysis (PIA) program, we incorrectly labeled the PHOT C-100 array axes as if they were aligned with equatorial coordinates. We rereduced our PHOT maps with a more recent version of PIA, version 6.3. The orientation of the C-100 array relative to equatorial coordinates, unique to each mapping observation, is now properly taken into account. This orientation is indicated by the scan direction vector plotted in Figures 2a (α PsA) and 2b (α Boo) of our Letter. The scan direction of the map of γ Oph, in which we found hints of extended emission (Figs. 1c and 1d of our Letter), is along P.A. 184°, very close to the scan direction of the map of α Boo (P.A. 186°). Therefore, the one-dimensional profile cuts in these maps should be reinterpreted as hinting at extended emission being present north and south of γ Oph. Below we show a corrected version of Figure 2 of our Letter. The maps of α PsA (Fig. 2a) and α Boo (Fig. 2b) are now properly rotated relative to equatorial coordinates. The morphology of these maps is slightly different from that of our Letter. The reason is that the point-spread function model from α Boo is now rotated relative to the map of α PsA by the difference in the scan directions of these two maps (29° clockwise). Corrected Figure 2a shows that the inferred disk around α PsA is aligned nearly north-south, or 12deg+/-13deg west of north. This orientation is consistent with previous inferences from 60 μm IRAS scans by F. C. Gillett (in Light on Dark Matter, ed. F. P. Israel [Dordrecht: Reidel], 61 [1986]), which suggested that extended emission was present along 29° west of north. A recent 850 μm image of α PsA by W. S

  17. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamidouche, M.; Young, E.; Marcum, P.; Krabbe, A.

    2010-12-01

    We present one of the new generations of observatories, the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). This is an airborne observatory consisting of a 2.7-m telescope mounted on a modified Boeing B747-SP airplane. Flying at an up to 45,000 ft (14 km) altitude, SOFIA will observe above more than 99 percent of the Earth's atmospheric water vapor allowing observations in the normally obscured far-infrared. We outline the observatory capabilities and goals. The first-generation science instruments flying on board SOFIA and their main astronomical goals are also presented.

  18. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becker, Eric; Kunz, Nans; Bowers, Al

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The contents include: 1) Heritage & History; 2) Level 1 Requirements; 3) Top Level Overview of the Observatory; 4) Development Challenges; and 5) Highlight Photos.

  19. SOFIA - Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kunz, Nans; Bowers, Al

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The contents include: 1) Heritage & History; 2) Level 1 Requirements; 3) Top Level Overview of the Observatory; 4) Development Challenges; and 5) Highlight Photos.

  20. Infrared Space Observatory Observations of Far-Infrared Rotational Emission Lines of Water Vapor Toward the Supergiant Star VY Canis Majoris

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neufeld, David A.; Feuchtgruber, Helmut; Harwit, Martin; Melnick, Gary J.

    1999-01-01

    We report the detection of numerous far-infrared emission lines of water vapor toward the supergiant star VY Canis Majoris. A 29.5-45 micron grating scan of VY CMa, obtained using the Short-Wavelength Spectrometer (SWS) of the Infrared Space Observatory at a spectral resolving power lambda/delat.lambda of approximately 2000, reveals at least 41 spectral features due to water vapor that together radiate a total luminosity of approximately 25 solar luminosity . In addition to pure rotational transitions within the ground vibrational state, these features include rotational transitions within the (010) excited vibrational state. The spectrum also shows the (sup 2)product(sub 1/2) (J = 5/2) left arrow (sup 2)product(sub 3/2) (J = 3/2) OH feature near 34.6 micron in absorption. Additional SWS observations of VY CMa were carried out in the instrument's Fabry-Perot mode for three water transitions: the 7(sub 25)-6(sub 16) line at 29.8367 micron, the 4(sub 41)-3(sub 12) line at 31.7721 micron, and the 4(sub 32)-3(sub 03) line at 40.6909 micron. The higher spectral resolving power lambda/delta.lambda of approximately 30,000 thereby obtained permits the line profiles to be resolved spectrally for the first time and reveals the "P Cygni" profiles that are characteristic of emission from an outflowing envelope.

  1. The Far-Infrared Energy Distributions of Seyfert and Starburst Galaxies in the Local Universe: Infrared Space Observatory Photometry of the 12 Micron Active Galaxy Sample

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spinoglio, Luigi; Andreani, Paola; Malkan, Matthew A.

    2002-06-01

    New far-infrared photometry with ISOPHOT aboard the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) is presented for 58 galaxies with homogeneous published data for another 32 galaxies, all belonging to the 12 μm galaxy sample-in total, 29 Seyfert 1 galaxies, 35 Seyfert 2 galaxies, and 12 starburst galaxies, or about half of the 12 μm active galaxy sample, plus 14 normal galaxies for comparison. ISO and Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) data are used to define color-color diagrams and spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Thermal dust emission at two temperatures (one cold at 15-30 K and one warm at 50-70 K) can fit the 60-200 μm SED, with a dust emissivity law proportional to the inverse square of the wavelength. Seyfert 1 galaxies and Seyfert 2 galaxies are indistinguishable longward of 100 μm, while, as already seen by IRAS, the former have flatter SEDs shortward of 60 μm. A mild anticorrelation is found between the [200-100] color and the ``60 μm excess.'' We infer that this is due to the fact that galaxies with a strong starburst component and thus a strong 60 μm flux have a steeper far-infrared turnover. In non-Seyfert galaxies, increasing the luminosity corresponds to increasing the star formation rate, which enhances the 25 and 60 μm emission. This shifts the peak emission from around 150 μm in the most quiescent spirals to shorter than 60 μm in the strongest starburst galaxies. To quantify these trends further, we identified with the IRAS colors three idealized infrared SEDs: pure quiescent disk emission, pure starburst emission, and pure Seyfert nucleus emission. Even between 100 and 200 μm, the quiescent disk emission remains much cooler than the starburst component. Seyfert galaxies have 100-200 μm SEDs ranging from pure disks to pure starbursts, with no apparent contribution from their active nuclei at those wavelengths. Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France

  2. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becklin, E. E.; Gehrz, R. D.

    2009-12-01

    The NASA/DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a 2.5 m infrared telescope in a Boeing 747SP. Flying at altitudes as high as 45,000 feet, it will enable 0.3 μm- 1.6 mm observations with an average transmission of ≥ 80%. We describe the key role that Tom Phillips played in the early days of airborne astronomy that culminated in the development of SOFIA. The facility design and status are described. Nine first generation instruments that will fly on SOFIA include broadband imaging cameras, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving emission features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematical studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km s-1 resolution. World-wide deployments will provide access to the entire sky and enable timely observations of transient events. SOFIA's sensitivity for imaging and spectroscopy is similar to that of the space observatory ISO. Its telescope is diffraction-limited beyond 25μm, making its images 3 times sharper than those obtained by the Spitzer Space Telescope at these wavelengths. We describe the characteristics of the observatory and give several examples of science opportunities with SOFIA.

  3. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (sofia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becklin, E. E.

    1997-08-01

    The joint US and German SOFIA project to develop and operate a 2.5 meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP began earlier this year. Universities Space Research Association (USRA), teamed with Raytheon E systems and United Airlines, was selected by NASA to develop and operate SOFIA. The 2.5 meter telescope will be designed and built by a consortium of German companies lead by MAN-GHH. Work on the aircraft and the primary mirror has started. First science flights will begin in 2001, and the observatory is expected to operate for over 20 years. The specifications, instruments and science potential of SOFIA are discussed.

  4. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becklin, Eric

    2015-08-01

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747SP, is now fully operational with cameras and spectrometers in the 1 to 240 micron region. It will be one of the major observatories for the next 20 years to observe the local ISM in this spectral region. We will give a brief overview of the SOFIA observatory, telescope, instrumentation and recent science. Future observing opportunities and participation in future instrument developments, over the lifetime of the SOFIA observatory will be discussed.

  5. Mauna Kea Observatory infrared observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jefferies, J. T.

    1974-01-01

    Galactic and solar system infrared observations are reported using a broad variety of radiometric and spectroscopic instrumentation. Infrared programs and papers published during this period are listed.

  6. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, E. F.; Davidson, J. A.

    1993-01-01

    SOFIA, (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) is a planned 2.5 meter telescope to be installed in a Boeing 747 aircraft and operated at altitudes from 41,000 to 46,000 feet. It will permit routine measurement of infrared radiation inaccessible from the ground-based sites, and observation of astronomical objects and transient events from anywhere in the world. The concept is based on 18 years of experience with NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which SOFIA would replace.

  7. The Near-Infrared Chromosphere Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rust, David M.; Bernasconi, Pietro N.; Labonte, Barry J.; Georgoulis, Manolis K.; Fox, Nicola J.; Kalkofen, Wolfgang; Lin, Haoseng

    2002-10-01

    The Near-Infrared Chromosphere Observatory (NICO) is a proposed balloon-borne observatory aiming to investigate the magnetic structure and the sources of heating in the solar chromosphere. NICO will be based on the successful Flare Genesis Experiment (FGE), a pioneer in applying novel technologies for the study of the Sun. NICO will map magnetic fields, velocity fields, and heating events in the chromosphere with unprecedented quality.

  8. SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy) with Telescope Configuration Changes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy) with Telescope Configuration Changes Artwork. Concepts: Based on 18 Years of Experience of Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) Operation, Characteristics, Operations and Science

  9. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOPHIA) Mirror Coating Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, Ed

    The joint US and German project, Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), to develop and operate a 2.5 meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP began late last year. Universities Space Research Association (USRA), teamed with Raytheon E-Systems and United Airlines, was selected by NASA to develop and operate SOPHIA. The 2.5 meter telescope will be designed and built by a consortium of German companies. The observatory is expected to operate for over 29 years with the first science flights beginning in 2001. The SOPHIA Observatory will fly at and above 12.5 km, where the telescope will collect radiation in the wavelength range from 0.3 micrometers to a 1.6 millimeters. Universities Space Research Association (USRA) with support from NASA is currently evaluating methods of recoating the primary mirror in preparation for procurement of mirror coating equipment. The decision analysis technique, decision criteria and telescope specifications will be discussed.

  10. SOFIA - Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, E. F.

    1992-01-01

    The features and scientific aims of SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy), a planned 2.5 m telescope to be installed in an aircraft and operated at altitudes from 41,000 to 46,000 ft, are discussed. A brief overview of the SOFIA program is given.

  11. The Arecibo Observatory Space Academy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez-Ford, Linda A.; Zambrano-Marin, Luisa; Petty, Bryan M.; Sternke, Elizabeth; Ortiz, Andrew M.; Rivera-Valentin, Edgard G.

    2015-11-01

    The Arecibo Observatory Space Academy (AOSA) is a ten (10) week pre-college research program for students in grades 9-12. Our mission is to prepare students for academic and professional careers by allowing them to receive an independent and collaborative research experience on topics related to space and aide in their individual academic and social development. Our objectives are to (1) Supplement the student’s STEM education via inquiry-based learning and indirect teaching methods, (2) Immerse students in an ESL environment, further developing their verbal and written presentation skills, and (3) To foster in every student an interest in science by exploiting their natural curiosity and knowledge in order to further develop their critical thinking and investigation skills. AOSA provides students with the opportunity to share lectures with Arecibo Observatory staff, who have expertise in various STEM fields. Each Fall and Spring semester, selected high school students, or Cadets, from all over Puerto Rico participate in this Saturday academy where they receive experience designing, proposing, and carrying out research projects related to space exploration, focusing on four fields: Physics/Astronomy, Biology, Engineering, and Sociology. Cadets get the opportunity to explore their topic of choice while practicing many of the foundations of scientific research with the goal of designing a space settlement, which they present at the NSS-NASA Ames Space Settlement Design Contest. At the end of each semester students present their research to their peers, program mentors, and Arecibo Observatory staff. Funding for this program is provided by NASA SSERVI-LPI: Center for Lunar Science and Exploration with partial support from the Angel Ramos Visitor Center through UMET and management by USRA.

  12. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becklin, E. E.; Gehrz, R. D.; Roellig, T. L.

    2012-10-01

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a program to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747SP, has obtained first science with the FORCAST camera in the 5 to 40 micron spectral region and the GREAT heterodyne spectrometer in the 130 to 240 micron spectral region. We briefly review the characteristics and status of the observatory. Spectacular science results on regions of star formation will be discussed. The FORCAST images show several discoveries and the potential for determining how massive stars form in our Galaxy. The GREAT heterodyne spectrometer has made mapping observations of the [C II] line at 158 microns, high J CO lines, and other molecular lines including SH. The HIPO high speed photometer and the high speed camera FDC were used to observe the 2011 June 23 UT stellar occultation by Pluto.

  13. Swift Observatory Space Simulation Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Espiritu, Mellina; Choi, Michael K.; Scocik, Christopher S.

    2004-01-01

    The Swift Observatory is a Middle-Class Explorer (MIDEX) mission that is a rapidly re-pointing spacecraft with immediate data distribution capability to the astronomical community. Its primary objectives are to characterize and determine the origin of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) and to use the collected data on GRB phenomena in order to probe the universe and gain insight into the physics of black hole formation and early universe. The main components of the spacecraft are the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), Ultraviolet and Optical Telescope (UVOT), X-Ray Telescope (XRT), and Optical Bench (OB) instruments coupled with the Swift spacecraft (S/C) bus. The Swift Observatory will be tested at the Space Environment Simulation (SES) chamber at the Goddard Space Flight Center from May to June 2004 in order to characterize its thermal behavior in a vacuum environment. In order to simulate the independent thermal zones required by the BAT, XRT, UVOT, and OB instruments, the spacecraft is mounted on a chariot structure capable of maintaining adiabatic interfaces and enclosed in a modified, four section MSX fixture in order to accommodate the strategic placement of seven cryopanels (on four circuits), four heater panels, and a radiation source burst simulator mechanism. There are additionally 55 heater circuits on the spacecraft. To mitigate possible migration of silicone contaminants from BAT to the XRT and UVOT instruments, a contamination enclosure is to be fabricated around the BAT at the uppermost section of the MSX fixture. This paper discuses the test requirements and implemented thermal vacuum test configuration for the Swift Observatory.

  14. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, E. F.

    1989-01-01

    SOFIA will be a three meter class telescope operating in a Boeing 747, offering astronomers routine access to infrared wavelengths unavailable from the ground, and with the means to observe transient astronomical events from anywhere in the world. The concept is based on 15 years of experience with NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which SOFIA will replace in the mid 1990's. SOFIA's wavelength range covers nearly four decades of the electromagnetic spectrum: from the visible, throughout the infrared and submillimeter, to the microwave region. Relative to the KAO, SOFIA will be roughly ten times more sensitive for compact sources, enabling observations of fainter objects and measurements at higher spectral resolution. Also, it will have three times the angular resolving power for wavelengths greater than 30 microns, permitting more detailed imaging at far infrared wavelengths.

  15. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrz, Robert

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Project to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP is in its final stages of development. Flying in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 feet, SOFIA enables observations throughout the infrared and submillimeter region with an average transmission of greater than 80 percent. SOFIA has a wide instrument complement including broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematic studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km/s resolution. The first generation and future instruments will enable SOFIA to make unique contributions to a broad array of science topics. SOFIA began its post-modification test flight series on April 26, 2007 in Waco, Texas. The test flight series continues at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, California. SOFIA will be staged out of Dryden's new aircraft operations facility at Palmdale, CA starting in December, 2007. First science flights will begin in 2009, the next instrument call and the first General Observer science call will be in 2010, and a full operations schedule of about 120 flights per year will be reached by 2014. The observatory is expected to operate for more than 20 years. The sensitivity, characteristics, science instrument complement, future instrument opportunities and examples of first light science will be discussed.

  16. Joint US-Japan Observations with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO): Deep Surveys and Observations of High-Z Objects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanders, David B.

    1997-01-01

    Several important milestones were passed during the past year of our ISO observing program: (1) Our first ISO data were successfully obtained. ISOCAM data were taken for our primary deep field target in the 'Lockman Hole'. Thirteen hours of integration (taken over 4 contiguous orbits) were obtained in the LW2 filter of a 3 ft x 3 ft region centered on the position of minimum HI column density in the Lockman Hole. The data were obtained in microscanning mode. This is the deepest integration attempted to date (by almost a factor of 4 in time) with ISOCAM. (2) The deep survey data obtained for the Lockman Hole were received by the Japanese P.I. (Yoshi Taniguchi) in early December, 1996 (following release of the improved pipeline formatted data from Vilspa), and a copy was forwarded to Hawaii shortly thereafter. These data were processed independently by the Japan and Hawaii groups during the latter part of December 1996, and early January, 1997. The Hawaii group made use of the U.S. ISO data center at IPAC/Caltech in Pasadena to carry out their data reduction, while the Japanese group used a copy of the ISOCAM data analysis package made available to them through an agreement with the head of the ISOCAM team, Catherine Cesarsky. (3) Results of our LW2 Deep Survey in the Lockman Hole were first reported at the ISO Workshop "Taking ISO to the Limits: Exploring the Faintest Sources in the Infrared" held at the ISO Science Operations Center in Villafranca, Spain (VILSPA) on 3-4 February, 1997. Yoshi Taniguchi gave an invited presentation summarizing the results of the U.S.-Japan team, and Dave Sanders gave an invited talk summarizing the results of the Workshop at the conclusion of the two day meeting. The text of the talks by Taniguchi and Sanders are included in the printed Workshop Proceedings, and are published in full on the Web. By several independent accounts, the U.S.-Japan Deep Survey results were one of the highlights of the Workshop; these data showed

  17. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (sofia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrz, R. D.; Becklin, E. E.

    2009-06-01

    SOFIA is a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP that will begin will begin science flights in mid-2009. Flying in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 feet, SOFIA will be used to conduct spectroscopic and imaging observations throughout the infrared and sub-mm region with an average transmission of greater than 80 percent. The SOFIA first-generation instrument complement includes broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematic studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km/s resolution. The characteristics and status of the observatory and its instrumentation will be briefly reviewed. SOFIA`s operations schedule and opportunities for observers and instrument developers will be described.

  18. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kunz, Nans; Bowers, Al

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the great astronomical observatories both space and land based that are now operational. It shows the history of the development of SOFIA, from its conception in 1986 through the contract awards in 1996 and through the planned first flight in 2007. The major components of the observatory are shown and there is a comparison of the SOFIA with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which is the direct predecessor to SOFIA. The development of the aft ramp of the KAO was developed as a result of the wind tunnel tests performed for SOFIA development. Further slides show the airborne observatory layout and the telescope's optical layout. Included are also vies of the 2.5 Meter effective aperture, and the major telescope's components. The presentations reviews the technical challenges encountered during the development of SOFIA. There are also slides that review the wind tunnel tests, and CFD modeling performed during the development of SOFIA. Closing views show many views of the airplane, and views of SOFIA.

  19. SOFIA, an airborne observatory for infrared astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krabbe, Alfred; Mehlert, Dörte; Röser, Hans-Peter; Scorza, Cecilia

    2013-11-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint US/German project operating a 2.7 m infrared airborne telescope onboard a modified Boeing 747-SP in the stratosphere at altitudes up to 13.7 km. SOFIA covers a spectral range from 0.3 µm to 1.6 mm, with an average atmospheric transmission greater than 80%. After successfully completing its commissioning, SOFIA commenced regular astronomical observation in spring 2013, and will ramp up to more than one hundred 8 to 10 h flights per year by 2015. The observatory is expected to operate until the mid 2030s. SOFIA's initial complement of seven focal plane instruments includes broadband imagers, moderate-resolution spectrographs and high-resolution spectrometers. SOFIA also includes an elaborate program for Education and Public Outreach. We describe the SOFIA facility together with its first light instrumentation and include some of its first scientific results. In addition, the education and public outreach program is presented.

  20. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrz, Robert; Becklin, Eric; Young, Erick; Krabbe, Alfred; Marcum, Pamela; Roellig, Thomas

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint U.S./German Project to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP that flies in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 and is capable of observations from 0.3 microns to 1.6 mm with an average transmission greater than 80 percent. SOFIA will be staged out of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center aircraft operations facility at Palmdale, CA and the SOFIA Science Mission Operations Center (SSMOC) will be located at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. First science flights will begin in 2010, and the number of flights will ramp up annually with a flight rate of over 100 8 to 10 hour flights per year expected by 2014. The observatory is expected to operate until the mid 2030's. SOFIA will initially fly with eight focal plane instruments that include broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs that will resolve broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers capable of studying the kinematics of molecular and atomic gas lines at km/s resolution. We describe the SOFIA facility and outline the opportunities for observations by the general scientific community and future instrumentation developments. The operational characteristics of the SOFIA first-generation instruments are summarized and we give several specific examples of the types of scientific studies to which these instruments are expected to make fundamental scientific contributions.

  1. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (sofia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrz, R. D.; Becklin, E. E.

    2011-06-01

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a 2.5- meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP that began science flights in 2010. Flying in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 feet, SOFIA can conduct photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations at wavelengths from 0.3 microns to 1.6 millimeters with an average transmission of greater than 80 percent. SOFIA is staged out of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center aircraft operations facility at Palmdale, CA and the SOFIA Science Mission Operations Center (SSMOC) is located at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. SOFIA's first-generation instrument complement includes high speed photometers, broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematic studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km/s resolution. About 100 eight to ten hour flights per year are expected by 2014, and the observatory will operate until the mid 2030's. We will review the status of the SOFIA facility, its initial complement of science instruments, and the opportunities for advanced instrumentation.

  2. Space-Based Near-Infrared CO2 Measurements: Testing the Orbiting Carbon Observatory Retrieval Algorithm and Validation Concept Using SCIAMACHY Observations over Park Falls, Wisconsin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bosch, H.; Toon, G. C.; Sen, B.; Washenfelder, R. A.; Wennberg, P. O.; Buchwitz, M.; deBeek, R.; Burrows, J. P.; Crisp, D.; Christi, M.; Connor, B. J.; Natraj, V.; Yung, Y. L.

    2006-01-01

    Space-based measurements of reflected sunlight in the near-infrared (NIR) region promise to yield accurate and precise observations of the global distribution of atmospheric CO2. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) is a future NASA mission, which will use this technique to measure the column-averaged dry air mole fraction of CO2 (XCO2) with the precision and accuracy needed to quantify CO2 sources and sinks on regional scales (approx.1000 x 1000 sq km and to characterize their variability on seasonal timescales. Here, we have used the OCO retrieval algorithm to retrieve XCO2 and surface pressure from space-based Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) measurements and from coincident ground-based Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) measurements of the O2 A band at 0.76 mm and the 1.58 mm CO2 band for Park Falls,Wisconsin. Even after accounting for a systematic error in our representation of the O2 absorption cross sections, we still obtained a positive bias between SCIAMACHY and FTS XCO2 retrievals of approx.3.5%. Additionally, the retrieved surface pressures from SCIAMACHY systematically underestimate measurements of a calibrated pressure sensor at the FTS site. These findings lead us to speculate about inadequacies in the forward model of our retrieval algorithm. By assuming a 1% intensity offset in the O2 A band region for the SCIAMACHY XCO2 retrieval, we significantly improved the spectral fit and achieved better consistency between SCIAMACHY and FTS XCO2 retrievals. We compared the seasonal cycle of XCO2 at Park Falls from SCIAMACHY and FTS retrievals with calculations of the Model of Atmospheric Transport and Chemistry/Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (MATCH/CASA) and found a good qualitative agreement but with MATCH/CASA underestimating the measured seasonal amplitude. Furthermore, since SCIAMACHY observations are similar in viewing geometry and spectral range to those of OCO, this study represents an important

  3. The Extreme Universe Space Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Jim; Six, N. Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This talk will describe the Extreme Universe Space Observatory (EUSO) mission. EUSO is an ESA mission to explore the most powerful energy sources in the universe. The mission objectives of EUSO are to investigate EECRs, those with energies above 3x10(exp 19) eV, and very high-energy cosmic neutrinos. These objectives are directly related to extreme conditions in the physical world and possibly involve the early history of the big bang and the framework of GUTs. EUSO tackles the basic problem posed by the existence of these extreme-energy events. The solution could have a unique impact on fundamental physics, cosmology, and/or astrophysics. At these energies, magnetic deflection is thought to be so small that the EECR component would serve as the particle channel for astronomy. EUSO will make the first measurements of EAS from space by observing atmospheric fluorescence in the Earth's night sky. With measurements of the airshower track, EUSO will determine the energy and arrival direction of these extreme-energy events. EUSO will make high statistics observations of CRs beyond the predicted GZK cutoff energy and widen the channel for high-energy neutrino astronomy. The energy spectra, arrival directions, and shower profiles will be analyzed to distinguish the nature of these events and search for their sources. With EUSO data, we will have the possibility to discover a local EECR source, test Z-burst scenarios and other theories, and look for evidence of the breakdown of the relativity principle at extreme Lorentz factors.

  4. Identifying clouds over the Pierre Auger Observatory using infrared satellite data

    SciTech Connect

    Abreu, Pedro; et al.,

    2013-12-01

    We describe a new method of identifying night-time clouds over the Pierre Auger Observatory using infrared data from the Imager instruments on the GOES-12 and GOES-13 satellites. We compare cloud identifications resulting from our method to those obtained by the Central Laser Facility of the Auger Observatory. Using our new method we can now develop cloud probability maps for the 3000 km^2 of the Pierre Auger Observatory twice per hour with a spatial resolution of ~2.4 km by ~5.5 km. Our method could also be applied to monitor cloud cover for other ground-based observatories and for space-based observatories.

  5. Long-lived space observatories for astronomy and astrophysics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, Blair D.; Becklin, Eric E.; Beckwith, Steven V. W.; Cowie, Lennox L.; Dupree, Andrea K.; Elliot, James L.; Gallagher, John S.; Helfand, David J.; Jenkins, Edward F.; Johnston, Kenneth J.

    1987-01-01

    NASA's plan to build and launch a fleet of long-lived space observatories that include the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO), the Advanced X Ray Astrophysics Observatory (AXAF), and the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) are discussed. These facilities are expected to have a profound impact on the sciences of astronomy and astrophysics. The long-lived observatories will provide new insights about astronomical and astrophysical problems that range from the presence of planets orbiting nearby stars to the large-scale distribution and evolution of matter in the universe. An important concern to NASA and the scientific community is the operation and maintenance cost of the four observatories described above. The HST cost about $1.3 billion (1984 dollars) to build and is estimated to require $160 million (1986 dollars) a year to operate and maintain. If HST is operated for 20 years, the accumulated costs will be considerably more than those required for its construction. Therefore, it is essential to plan carefully for observatory operations and maintenance before a long-lived facility is constructed. The primary goal of this report is to help NASA develop guidelines for the operations and management of these future observatories so as to achieve the best possible scientific results for the resources available. Eight recommendations are given.

  6. SOFIA - Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helton, A. L.; SOFIA Science Team

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a 2.7-m telescope mounted on board a Boeing 747-SP aircraft. Optimized for observations from infrared through sub-mm wavelengths, SOFIA observes from an altitude of 37,000 - 45,000 feet, above 99% of the atmospheric water vapor. The Observatory’s complement of instruments exhibits a broad range of capabilities that are well suited for the observation of dusty astronomical sources. During its first year of preliminary operations, SOFIA made a number of exciting observations, including the discovery of a new high-mass protostar in the Orion Nebula (IRc4), the first detection of OD outside our Solar System, the detection of interstellar mercapto radicals (SH), and some of the highest resolution mid-IR observations of the transient Galactic circumnuclear ring to date. Here we present a selection of the available instruments available on board SOFIA and discuss their potential for future studies of dust in the Universe.

  7. Cosmic Ray Observatories for Space Weather Studies.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, Xavier

    2016-07-01

    The Mexican Space Weather Service (SCiESMEX) was created in October 2014. Some observatories measure data for the service at different frequencies and particles. Two cosmic ray observatories detect the particle variations attributed to solar emissions, and are an important source of information for the SCiESMEX. The Mexico City Cosmic Ray Observatory consists of a neutron monitor (6-NM-64) and a muon telescope, that detect the hadronic and hard component of the secondary cosmic rays in the atmosphere. It has been in continous operation since 1990. The Sierra Negra Cosmic Ray Observatory consists of a solar neutron telescope and the scintillator cosmic ray telescope. These telescopes can detect the neutrons, generated in solar flares and the hadronic and hard components of the secondary cosmic rays. It has been in continous operation since 2004. We present the two observatories and the capability to detect variations in the cosmic rays, generated by the emissions of the solar activity.

  8. Servicing operations for the SIRTF Observatory at the Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiltsee, Christopher B.; Manning, Larry A.

    1987-01-01

    This paper describes the servicing requirements, plans, and proposed Space Station-based servicing operations for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) Observatory. SIRTF is a cryogenically-cooled, long-life, one meter class space telescope which will be operated by NASA as a free-flying observatory for infrared astronomy, in the mid-1990's. To achieve its 5-year lifetime requirement (10 year goal), SIRTF must be replenished periodically with cryogenic helium and have its life-limited modular subsystems replaced; capability for contingency repair of warm components will also be provided in the Observatory design. A general description of the SIRTF Observatory is given, including options for the support systems (spacecraft). The overall servicing philosophy and plans are addressed with scheduling and needed support elements described. A proposed Space Station-based servicing scenario is described, including orbital transfer, servicing and checkout operations. A detailed description and timeline for liquid helium replenishment operations is provided, including a conceptual design and technology development program for the cryogenic helium transfer dewar (tanker). Finally, a preliminary SIRTF spares/logistics philosophy is outlined, including tradeoffs to be considered.

  9. Science with the Space Infrared Telescope Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roellig, Thomas L.

    2003-01-01

    The Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), the fourth and final member of NASA's series of Great Observatories, is scheduled to launch on April 15,2003. Together with the Hubbie Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma ray Telescope, and the Chandra X-Ray Telescope this series of observatories offers observational capabilities across the electromagnetic spectrum from the infrared to high-energy gamma rays. SIRTF is based on three focal plane instruments - an infrared spectrograph and two infrared imagers - coupled to a superfluid-helium cooled telescope to achieve unprecedented sensitivity from 3 to 180 microns. Although SIRTF is a powerful general-purpose infrared observatory, its design was based on the capability to address four broad science themes: (1) understanding the structure and composition of the early universe, (2) understanding the nature of brown dwarfs and super-planets, (3) probing protostellar, protoplanetary, and planetary debris disk systems, and (4) understanding the origin and structure of ultraluminous infrared galaxies and active galactic nuclei. This talk will address the design and capabilities of the SIRTF observatory, provide an overview of some of the initial science investigations planned by the SIRTF Guaranteed Time Observers, and give a brief overview of the General Observer proposal process.

  10. Overview of the James Webb Space Telescope observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2011-09-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large aperture, space telescope designed to provide imaging and spectroscopy over the near and mid-infrared from 1.0 μm to 28 μm. JWST is a passively cooled infrared telescope, employing a five layer sunshield to achieve an operating temperature of ~40 K. JWST will be launched to an orbit at L2 aboard an Ariane 5 launcher in 2013. The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is the lead center for the JWST program and manages the project for NASA. The prime contractor for JWST is Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (NGST). JWST is an international partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). ESA will contribute the Ariane 5 launch, and a multi-object infrared spectrograph. CSA will contribute the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS), which includes the Tunable Filter Imager (TFI). A European consortium, in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), builds the mid-infrared imager (MIRI). In this paper we present an overview of the JWST science program, and discuss recent progress in the development of the observatory. In this paper we will discuss the scientific motivations for JWST, and discuss recent progress in the construction of the observatory, focusing on the telescope and its optics, which have recently completed polishing.

  11. Space Weather in Magnetic Observatory Noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilder, S. A.; Truong, F.

    2012-12-01

    Space weather impacts human activity by degrading satellite operation or disrupting electrical power grids. By exploiting small differences in the time stamp between magnetometer pairs to facilitate data filtering, we find that ground-based magnetic observatories are well suited to measure space weather phenomena, and in particular, high frequency fluctuations known as pulsations. Several of the world's consortium of INTERMAGNET observatories are used in the analyses. They show that pulsation amplitudes attain a maximum near local noon over diurnal periods. Long-term trends in pulsation amplitude correlate well with the solar cycle, with the greatest effect occurring during the waning part of the cycle when the derivative of the number of sunspots attains a maximum rate of decrease. Seasonal variability and total amplitude of the diurnal expression of pulsations depends on latitude. Our study highlights the utility of ground-based observatories to understand solar phenomena and suggests how INTERMAGNET data and protocol could be better tuned to monitor space weather.

  12. Overview of the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clampin, Mark; Smith, Eric P.

    2011-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large aperture, space telescope designed to provide imaging and spectroscopy from 1.0 micron to 28 microns. JWST will be launched to an orbit at L2 aboard an Ariane 5 launcher in 2013. The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is the lead center for the JWST program and manages the project for NASA. The prime contractor for JWST is Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (NGST). JWST is an international partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). ESA will contribute the Ariane 5 launch, and a multi-object infrared spectrograph. CSA will contribute the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS), which includes the Tunable Filter Imager (TFI). The European consortium, in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), builds the mid-infrared imager (MIRI). In this paper we present an overview of the JWST science program, and discuss recent progress in the development of the observatory.

  13. The great observatories for space astrophysics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harwit, M.; Neal, V.

    1986-01-01

    Motivated by the ancient urge to observe, measure, compute, and understand the nature of the Universe, the available advanced technology is used to place entire observatories into space for investigations across the spectrum. Stellar evolution, development and nature of the Universe, planetary exploration, technology, NASA's role, and careers in asronomy are displayed.

  14. Overview of the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2011-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a cryogenic, 6.5 meter diameter space telescope. JWST has a unique architecture, compared to previous space telescopes, that is driven by its science requirements, ia passively cooled cryogenic design, and the need to stow the observatory for launch. JWST's large, segmented mirror meets the requirement for high angular resolution in the infrared coupled with a significant increase in collecting area compared to the Spitzer and Hubble Space telescopes in order to detect the first galaxies. JWST's unique five-layer sunshield allows the telescope and instrument module to passively cool to cryogenic temperatures. JWST will be launched on an Ariane 5, and so both its telescope optics, and the sunshield have to be stowed in order to fit the Ariane 5 fairing. Following launch the sunshield and telescope optics must be deployed, and the primary mirror phased for science operations. In this presentation we will review the design of the observatory and highlight recent progress in the construction of the JWST observatory. In particular, we address recent progress with the telescope optics, sunshield and spacecraft. We will discuss predicted observatory performance in terms of the scientific goals of JWST and address key operational considerations that might bear upon frontier science observations.

  15. Spitzer Space Telescope : observatory desciption and performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patel, Keyur C.; Spath, Stuart R.

    2004-01-01

    The Spitzer Space Telescope, the last of the four Great Observatories commissioned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was successfully launched on August 25, 2003 from Kennedy Space Center. The engineering systems for Spitzer were developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, and Ball Aerospace & Technology Corp. This paper provides an overview of Spitzer, a technical description of all the engineering subsystems, and the associated challenges involved in developing them to satisfy the mission requirements. In addition, this paper describes the performance of the engineering subsystems during the In-Orbit Checkout phase, the Science Verification phase, and the early portions of the Nominal Mission.

  16. SOFIA: The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hildebrand, Roger H.; Davidson, Jacqueline A.

    1990-01-01

    SOFIA, an airborne observatory intended to be carried aboard a Boeing 747 high performance aircraft, is described. The observatory is predicted to provide a threefold greater aperture than that of the Kuiper telescope. The Boeing aircraft will carry the 2.5 diameter telescope and its observers to altitudes of 14,000 and above where the atmosphere is very nearly transparent at all wavelengths. Various aspects and specific missions of the SOFIA project, a cooperative venture of the U.S. and Germany, are described.

  17. Solar Terrestrial Observatory Space Station Workshop Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, W. T. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    In response to a need to develop and document requirements of the Solar Terrestrial Observatory at an early time, a mini-workshop was organized and held on June 6, 1985. The participants at this workshop set as their goal the preliminary definition of the following areas: (1) instrument descriptions; (2) placement of instrumentation on the IOC Space Station; (3) servicing and repair assessment; and (4) operational scenarios. This report provides a synopsis of the results of that workshop.

  18. Toward a Space based Gravitational Wave Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stebbins, Robin T.

    2015-01-01

    A space-based GW observatory will produce spectacular science. The LISA mission concept: (a) Long history, (b) Very well-studied, including de-scopes, (c) NASAs Astrophysics Strategic Plan calls for a minority role in ESAs L3 mission opportunity. To that end, NASA is Participating in LPF and ST7 Developing appropriate technology for a LISA-like mission Preparing to seek an endorsement for L3 participation from the 2020 decadal review.

  19. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) system concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiltsee, Christopher B.; Brooks, Walter F.

    1989-01-01

    The system concept for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), as developed by NASA Ames Research Center is described. The SOFIA facility is a 3-meter class optical/infrared/submillimeter telescope mounted in an open cavity in the forebody of a Boeing 747 aircraft, to be operational in 1992. It represents the next generation of Ames' existing airborne IR facilities, and is about ten times more sensitive than the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) with 3 times better angular resolution, and able to detect all the far-infrared point sources discovered by IRAS (Infrared Astronomical Satellite) survey in 1983. Major requirements and design attributes of the SOFIA telescope are presented, along with a brief description of the Ground Support/Operations System.

  20. Overview and Status of the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2012-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large aperture (6.5 meter), cryogenic space telescope with a suite of near and mid-infrared instruments spanning the wavelength range of 0.6 microns to 28 microns. JWST's primary science goals are to detect and characterize the first galaxies, study the assembly of galaxies, star formation, and the formation of evolution of planetary systems. JWST has a unique design based on the concept of passive cooling by means of a multi-layer sunshield to achieve the telescope's cryogenic operating temperature. Each of the five layers of the sunshield is approximately the size of a tennis court, and made of aluminized kapton. By maintaining an observatory attitude whereby the sunshield keeps the telescope in the shade from the sun's rays, the telescope and science instruments can operate at cryogenic temperature (-40 K). On the sun facing side of the observatory the spacecraft bus houses most of the electronic sub-systems, and provides a platform for the solar array and communications hardware. JWST is sufficiently large that it cannot fit inside .the fairing of its Ariane 5 launcher without being stowed in a more compact configuration, so the ability to deploy its major SUb-systems such as the telescope optics and sunshield after launch are another major feature of the observatory. Development of observatory is making rapid progress as major hardware SUb-systems nearcompletion. Polishing of the JWST telescope mirrors is complete with 18 primary mirror segments, the secondary mirror, tertiary and fine steering mirror all gold coated and through acceptance testing. Engineering test articles of each sunshield membrane layer are underway. The first layer 3 membrane is complete and is undergoing testing to evaluate its tensioned shape for compliance with alignment tolerances. As each major SUb-system is tested, the expected scientific performance of the observatory can be evaluated using test results and integrated system models of the

  1. EARLY SCIENCE WITH SOFIA, THE STRATOSPHERIC OBSERVATORY FOR INFRARED ASTRONOMY

    SciTech Connect

    Young, E. T.; Becklin, E. E.; De Buizer, J. M.; Andersson, B.-G.; Casey, S. C.; Helton, L. A.; Marcum, P. M.; Roellig, T. L.; Temi, P.; Herter, T. L.; Guesten, R.; Dunham, E. W.; Backman, D.; Burgdorf, M.; Caroff, L. J.; Erickson, E. F.; Davidson, J. A.; Gehrz, R. D.; Harper, D. A.; Harvey, P. M.; and others

    2012-04-20

    The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is an airborne observatory consisting of a specially modified Boeing 747SP with a 2.7 m telescope, flying at altitudes as high as 13.7 km (45,000 ft). Designed to observe at wavelengths from 0.3 {mu}m to 1.6 mm, SOFIA operates above 99.8% of the water vapor that obscures much of the infrared and submillimeter. SOFIA has seven science instruments under development, including an occultation photometer, near-, mid-, and far-infrared cameras, infrared spectrometers, and heterodyne receivers. SOFIA, a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft und-Raumfahrt, began initial science flights in 2010 December, and has conducted 30 science flights in the subsequent year. During this early science period three instruments have flown: the mid-infrared camera FORCAST, the heterodyne spectrometer GREAT, and the occultation photometer HIPO. This Letter provides an overview of the observatory and its early performance.

  2. SOFIA: A Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, E. F.; Davidson, J. A.; Thorley, G.; Caroff, L. J.

    1991-01-01

    SOFIA is described as it was originally (May 1988) for the Space and Earth Sciences Advisory Committee (SESAC). The format and questions were provided by SESAC as a standard for judging the merit of potential U.S. space science projects. This version deletes Section IIF, which addressed development costs of the SOFIA facility. SOFIA's unique astronomical potential is described and it is shown how it complements and supports existing and planned facilities.

  3. The Near-Infrared Chromosphere Observatory (NICO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rust, D. M.; Bernasconi, P. N.; LaBonte, B. J.; Georgoulis, M. K.; Kalkofen, W.; Fox, N. J.; Lin, H.

    2002-05-01

    NICO is a proposed cost-effective platform for determining the magnetic structure and sources of heating for the solar chromosphere. It is a balloon-borne observatory that will use the largest solar telescope flying and very high data rates to map the magnetic fields, velocities, and heating events of the chromosphere and photosphere in unprecedented detail. NICO is based on the Flare Genesis Experiment (FGE), which has pioneered in the application of technologies important to NASA's flight program. NICO will also introduce new technologies, such as wavefront sensing for monitoring telescope alignment; real-time correlation tracking and high-speed image motion compensation for smear-free imaging; and wide aperture Fabry-Perot filters for extended spectral scanning. The telescope is a classic Cassegrain design with an 80-cm diameter F/1.5 primary mirror made of Ultra-Low-Expansion glass. The telescope structure is graphite-epoxy for lightweight, temperature-insensitive support. The primary and secondary mirror surfaces are coated with silver to reflect more than 97% of the incident solar energy. The secondary is made of single-crystal silicon, which provides excellent thermal conduction from the mirror surface to its mount, with negligible thermal distortion. A third mirror acts as a heat dump. It passes the light from a 15-mm diameter aperture in its center, corresponding to a 322"-diameter circle on the solar surface, while the rest of the solar radiation is reflected back out of the front of the telescope. The telescope supplies the selected segment of the solar image to a polarization and spectral analysis package that operates with an image cadence 1 filtergram/sec. On-board data storage is 3.2 Terabytes. Quick-look images will be sent in near real time to the ground via the TDRSS communications link.

  4. Space Based Gravitational Wave Observatories (SGOs)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livas, Jeff

    2014-01-01

    Space-based Gravitational-wave Observatories (SGOs) will enable the systematic study of the frequency band from 0.0001 - 1 Hz of gravitational waves, where a rich array of astrophysical sources is expected. ESA has selected The Gravitational Universe as the science theme for the L3 mission opportunity with a nominal launch date in 2034. This will be at a minimum 15 years after ground-based detectors and pulsar timing arrays announce their first detections and at least 18 years after the LISA Pathfinder Mission will have demonstrated key technologies in a dedicated space mission. It is therefore important to develop mission concepts that can take advantage of the momentum in the field and the investment in both technology development and a precision measurement community on a more near-term timescale than the L3 opportunity. This talk will discuss a mission concept based on the LISA baseline that resulted from a recent mission architecture study.

  5. Overview of the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clampin, Mark; Smith, Eric P.

    2010-07-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large aperture, space telescope designed to provide imaging and spectroscopy from 1.0 μm to 28 μm. JWST will be launched to an orbit at L2 aboard an Ariane 5 launcher in 2013. The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is the lead center for the JWST program and manages the project for NASA. The prime contractor for JWST is Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (NGST). JWST is an international partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). ESA will contribute the Ariane 5 launch, and a multi-object infrared spectrograph. CSA will contribute the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS), which includes the Tunable Filter Imager (TFI). The European consortium, in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), builds the mid-infrared imager (MIRI). In this paper we present an overview of the JWST science program, and discuss recent progress in the development of the observatory.

  6. Planetary Science with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reach, William T.

    2014-11-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has executed the first two of its annual Cycles of guest investigator observing proposals. Proposals submitted for the third Cycle are under review. The planetary science community has made a significant showing in all proposal Cycles, comprising approximately 15% of Cycles 1 and 2. SOFIA offers observers access to the complete infrared spectrum, with much less atmospheric absorption than from even the finest ground-based telescope sites. New capabilities include high-resolution spectroscopy in the mid-infrared with the Echelon-Cross-Echelle Spectrograph (EXES), which allows, for example, spectroscopy of molecules from narrow stratospheric lines of planetary atmospheres, and imaging spectroscopy with the Field Imaging Far-Infrared Line Spectrometer (FIFI-LS), which allows simultaneous observation in 9 spatial pixels each of two far-infrared lines. Observations to date related to the solar system include comets ISON and PanSTARRS, main belt asteroids, Jupiter, Neptune, Europa, exoplanets, and debris disks. The poster will show science highlights, observatory capabilities, and proposal statistics.

  7. Planetary Science with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Backman, Dana E.; Reach, William T.

    2015-11-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is currently conducting the third annual Cycle of guest investigator observing programs. Programs selected for the fourth Cycle (2016) were announced in October. The planetary science community has made a significant showing in all proposal Cycles, comprising approximately 15% of the time awarded in Cycles 1-3. SOFIA offers observers access to the complete infrared spectrum, with much less atmospheric absorption than from even the finest ground-based telescope sites. New capabilities include high-resolution spectroscopy in the mid-infrared with the Echelon-Cross-Echelle Spectrograph (EXES) that allows spectroscopy of molecules from narrow stratospheric lines of planetary atmospheres, plus imaging spectroscopy with the Field Imaging Far-Infrared Line Spectrometer (FIFI-LS) capable, for example, of simultaneous observations in 9 spatial pixels in each of two far-infrared spectral lines. Also, the FLITECAM near-IR and FORCAST mid-IR cameras include grisms that allow moderate-resolution spectral imaging at wavelengths inaccessible from the ground, and HIPO and FPI+ high-speed photometric imagers are capable of high-S/N measurements of stellar occultations and exoplanet transits. Planetary science targets observed to date include comets ISON and PanSTARRS, main belt asteroids, Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Europa, exoplanets, and debris disks. This poster will showcase science highlights, give details regarding the SOFIA observatory and instrument capabilities, and present observing program statistics.

  8. The SAFARI imaging spectrometer for the SPICA space observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roelfsema, Peter; Giard, Martin; Najarro, Francisco; Wafelbakker, Kees; Jellema, Willem; Jackson, Brian; Swinyard, Bruce; Audard, Marc; Doi, Yasuo; Griffin, Matt; Helmich, Frank; Kerschbaum, Franz; Meyer, Michael; Naylor, David; Nielsen, Hans; Olofsson, Göran; Poglitsch, Albrecht; Spinoglio, Luigi; Vandenbussche, Bart; Isaak, Kate; Goicoechea, Javier R.

    2012-09-01

    The Japanese SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics, SPICA, will provide astronomers with a long awaited new window on the universe. Having a large cold telescope cooled to only 6K above absolute zero, SPICA will provide a unique environment where instruments are limited only by the cosmic background itself. A consortium of European and Canadian institutes has been established to design and implement the SpicA FAR infrared Instrument SAFARI, an imaging spectrometer designed to fully exploit this extremely low far infrared background environment provided by the SPICA observatory. SAFARI’s large instantaneous field of view combined with the extremely sensitive Transition Edge Sensing detectors will allow astronomers to very efficiently map large areas of the sky in the far infrared - in a square degree survey of a 1000 hours many thousands of faint sources will be detected, and a very large fraction of these sources will be fully spectroscopically characterised by the instrument. Efficiently obtaining such a large number of complete spectra is essential to address several fundamental questions in current astrophysics: how do galaxies form and evolve over cosmic time?, what is the true nature of our own Milky Way?, and why and where do planets like those in our own solar system come into being?

  9. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) for Planetary Science and the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reach, W. T.

    2011-10-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA [1]) is a 2.5 meter telescope on a modified 747SP aircraft. The program is managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR). Operations are supported by NASA and DLR in a partnership, with an 80/20 split per international Memorandum of Understanding.

  10. Synchrotron Radiation from Outer Space and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, M. C.

    2006-01-01

    The universe provides numerous extremely interesting astrophysical sources of synchrotron X radiation. The Chandra X-ray Observatory and other X-ray missions provide powerful probes of these and other cosmic X-ray sources. Chandra is the X-ray component of NASA's Great Observatory Program which also includes the Hubble Space telescope, the Spitzer Infrared Telescope Facility, and the now defunct Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory. The Chandra X-Ray Observatory provides the best angular resolution (sub-arcsecond) of any previous, current, or planned (for the foreseeable near future) space-based X-ray instrumentation. We present here a brief overview of the technical capability of this X-Ray observatory and some of the remarkable discoveries involving cosmic synchrotron sources.

  11. Spica: the next generation infrared space telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goicoechea, J. R.; Nakagawa, T.

    2011-11-01

    We present an overview of SPICA, the Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics, a world-class space observatory optimized for mid- and far-IR astronomy (from 5 to ~210 μm) with a cryogenically cooled ~3.2 m telescope (<6 K). Its high spatial resolution and unprecedented sensitivity in both photometry and spectroscopy modes will enable us to address a number of key problems in astronomy. SPICA's large, cold aperture will provide a two order of magnitude sensitivity advantage over current far-IR facilities (λ > 30μm wavelength). In the present design, SPICA will carry mid-IR camera, spectrometers and coronagraph (by JAXA institutes) and a far-IR imager FTS-spectrometer, SAFARI (~34-210 μm, provided by an European/Canadian consortium lead by SRON). Complementary instruments such as a far-IR/submm spectrometer (proposed by NASA) are also being discussed. SPICA will be the only space observatory of its era to bridge the far-IR wavelength gap between JWST and ALMA, and carry out unique science not achievable at visible or submm wavelengths. In this contribution we summarize some of the scientific advances that will be made possible by the large increase in sensitivity compared to previous infrared space missions.

  12. Hinode ``a new solar observatory in space''

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsuneta, S.; Harra, L. K.; Masuda, S.

    2009-05-01

    Since its launch in September 2006, the Japan-US-UK solar physics satellite, Hinode, has continued its observation of the sun, sending back solar images of unprecedented clarity every day. Hinode is equipped with three telescopes, a visible light telescope, an X-ray telescope, and an extreme ultraviolet imaging spectrometer. The Hinode optical telescope has a large primary mirror measuring 50 centimeters in diameter and is the world's largest space telescope for observing the sun and its vector magnetic fields. The impact of Hinode as an optical telescope on solar physics is comparable to that of the Hubble Space Telescope on optical astronomy. While the optical telescope observes the sun's surface, the Hinode X-ray telescope captures images of the corona and the high-temperature flares that range between several million and several tens of millions of degrees. The telescope has captured coronal structures that are clearer than ever. The Hinode EUV imaging spectrometer possesses approximately ten times the sensitivity and four times the resolution of a similar instrument on the SOHO satellite. The source of energy for the sun is in the nuclear fusion reaction that takes place at its core. Here temperature drops closer to the surface, where the temperature measures about 6,000 degrees. Mysteriously, the temperature starts rising again above the surface, and the temperature of the corona is exceptionally high, several millions of degrees. It is as if water were boiling fiercely in a kettle placed on a stove with no fire, inconceivable as it may sound. The phenomenon is referred to as the coronal heating problem, and it is one of the major astronomical mysteries. The Hinode observatory was designed to solve this mystery. It is expected that Hinode would also provide clues to unraveling why strong magnetic fields are formed and how solar flares are triggered. An overview on the initial results from Hinode is presented. Dynamic video pictures captured by Hinode can be

  13. Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). Phase A: System concept description

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    Infrared astronomers have made significant discoveries using the NASA/Ames Research Center C-141 Kuiper airborne Observatory (KAO) with its 0.91-meter telescope. The need for a 3-meter class airborne observatory has been established to improve astronomy data gathering capability. The new system envisioned by NASA and the international community of astronomers will be known as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The platform of choice for SOFIA is a modified Boeing 747SP. SOFIA is viewed as a logical progression from the KAO. Potentially, a 3-meter telescope operating at the altitude achievable by the 747SP aircraft can be 11 times more sensitive than the KAO, can have 3.3 times better angular resolution, and will allow observations of compact sources in a volume of space up to 36 times that of the KAO. The KAO has enabled detection of about 15 percent of the far infrared IRAS survey point-sources; SOFIA should be able to detect them all. This document presents the results of in-house ARC and contracted concept definition studies for SOFIA. Using the ARC-based Kuiper Airborne Observatory as a basis for both SOFIA design and operations concepts, the SOFIA system concept has been developed with a view toward demonstrating mission and technical feasibility, and preparing preliminary cost estimates. The reference concept developed is not intended to represent final design, and should be treated accordingly. The most important products of this study, other than demonstration of system feasibility, are the understanding of system trade-offs and the development of confidence in the technology base that exists to move forward with a program leading to implementation of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

  14. Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). Phase A: System concept description

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Infrared astronomers have made significant discoveries using the NASA/Ames Research Center C-141 Kuiper airborne Observatory (KAO) with its 0.91-meter telescope. The need for a 3-meter class airborne observatory has been established to improve astronomy data gathering capability. The new system envisioned by NASA and the international community of astronomers will be known as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The platform of choice for SOFIA is a modified Boeing 747SP. SOFIA is viewed as a logical progression from the KAO. Potentially, a 3-meter telescope operating at the altitude achievable by the 747SP aircraft can be 11 times more sensitive than the KAO, can have 3.3 times better angular resolution, and will allow observations of compact sources in a volume of space up to 36 times that of the KAO. The KAO has enabled detection of about 15 percent of the far infrared IRAS survey point-sources; SOFIA should be able to detect them all. This document presents the results of in-house ARC and contracted concept definition studies for SOFIA. Using the ARC-based Kuiper Airborne Observatory as a basis for both SOFIA design and operations concepts, the SOFIA system concept has been developed with a view toward demonstrating mission and technical feasibility, and preparing preliminary cost estimates. The reference concept developed is not intended to represent final design, and should be treated accordingly. The most important products of this study, other than demonstration of system feasibility, are the understanding of system trade-offs and the development of confidence in the technology base that exists to move forward with a program leading to implementation of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

  15. Near infra-red astronomy with adaptive optics and laser guide stars at the Keck Observatory

    SciTech Connect

    Max, C.E.; Gavel, D.T.; Olivier, S.S.

    1995-08-03

    A laser guide star adaptive optics system is being built for the W. M. Keck Observatory`s 10-meter Keck II telescope. Two new near infra-red instruments will be used with this system: a high-resolution camera (NIRC 2) and an echelle spectrometer (NIRSPEC). The authors describe the expected capabilities of these instruments for high-resolution astronomy, using adaptive optics with either a natural star or a sodium-layer laser guide star as a reference. They compare the expected performance of these planned Keck adaptive optics instruments with that predicted for the NICMOS near infra-red camera, which is scheduled to be installed on the Hubble Space Telescope in 1997.

  16. Complementarity of NGST, ALMA, and far IR Space Observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mather, John C.; Fisher, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) will both start operations long before a new far IR observatory in space can be launched. What will be unknown even after they are operational, and what will a far IR space observatory be able to add? I will compare the telescope design concepts and capabilities and the advertised scientific programs for the projects and attempt to forecast the research topics that will be at the forefront in 2010.

  17. Polarimetry from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaillancourt, J.; Andersson, B.; Young, E.; Ruzek, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747SP that operates in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 feet (14 km). A joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), SOFIA can conduct photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations at wavelengths from 0.3 micron to 1.6 millimeters with an average atmospheric transmission greater than 80 percent across that range. The first-generation instruments span the range from 0.3 to 240 microns. SOFIA's ability to regularly update its instrument complement over its 20-year lifetime will allow for polarimeters with imaging and spectroscopic capabilities; a second-generation imaging polarimeter is currently planned for far-infrared wavelengths. We discuss a sample of possible investigations of interest to the field of planetary science which can be carried out with an airborne polarimeter in SOFIA's near- and mid-infrared wavelength range including studies of comets, asteroids, and proto-stellar disks. A third-generation instrument call, where new polarimetric capabilities may be proposed, is currently planned for Fiscal Year 2014.

  18. Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) Data Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joseph, Robert D.; Sanders, David B.; Stockton, Alan; Hu, Esther

    1999-01-01

    Joseph is an ISO Co-Investigator. His Guaranteed Time Observations include both a major programme for which he is the Principal Investigator, and a number of other prgrammes in collaboration with other ISPHOT Co-Investigators, David Sanders, Alan Stockton, and Esther Hu.

  19. Status of the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2013-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the largest cryogenic, space telescope ever built, and will address a broad range of scientific goals from first light in the universe and re-ionization, to characterization of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. Recently, significant progress has been made in the construction of the observatory with the completion of all 21 flight mirrors that comprise the telescope's optical chain, and the start of flight instrument deliveries to the Goddard Space Flight Center. In this paper we discuss the design of the observatory, and focus on the recent milestone achievements in each of the major observatory sub-systems.

  20. Space-based infrared surveys of small bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mommert, M.

    2014-07-01

    Most small bodies in the Solar System are too small and too distant to be spatially resolved, precluding a direct diameter derivation. Furthermore, measurements of the optical brightness alone only allow a rough estimate of the diameter, since the surface albedo is usually unknown and can have values between about 3 % and 60 % or more. The degeneracy can be resolved by considering the thermal emission of these objects, which is less prone to albedo effects and mainly a function of the diameter. Hence, the combination of optical and thermal-infrared observational data provides a means to independently derive an object's diameter and albedo. This technique is used in asteroid thermal models or more sophisticated thermophysical models (see, e.g., [1]). Infrared observations require cryogenic detectors and/or telescopes, depending on the actual wavelength range observed. Observations from the ground are additionally compromised by the variable transparency of Earth's atmosphere in major portions of the infrared wavelength ranges. Hence, space-based infrared telescopes, providing stable conditions and significantly better sensitivities than ground-based telescopes, are now used routinely to exploit this wavelength range. Two observation strategies are used with space-based infrared observatories: Space-based Infrared All-Sky Surveys. Asteroid surveys in the thermal infrared are less prone to albedo-related discovery bias compared to surveys with optical telescopes, providing a more complete picture of small body populations. The first space-based infrared survey of Solar System small bodies was performed with the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) for 10 months in 1983. In the course of the 'IRAS Minor Planet Survey' [2], 2228 asteroids (3 new discoveries) and more than 25 comets (6 new discoveries) were observed. More recent space-based infrared all-sky asteroid surveys were performed by Akari (launched 2006) and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE

  1. Integration of space geodesy: a US National Geodetic Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yunck, Thomas P.; Neilan, Ruth

    2003-01-01

    In the interest of improving the performance and efficiency of space geodesy a diverse group in the U.S., in collaboration with IGGOS, has begun to establish a unified National Geodetic Observatory (NGO).

  2. Space telescope observatory management system preliminary test and verification plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fritz, J. S.; Kaldenbach, C. F.; Williams, W. B.

    1982-01-01

    The preliminary plan for the Space Telescope Observatory Management System Test and Verification (TAV) is provided. Methodology, test scenarios, test plans and procedure formats, schedules, and the TAV organization are included. Supporting information is provided.

  3. Wind Tunnel Testing for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenberger, Deborah; Alvarez, Teresa (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    NASA Ames Research Center is pursuing the development of SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy. SOFIA will consist of a 2.5 meter telescope mounted aft of the wing of a Boeing 747 aircraft. Since a large portion of the infrared spectrum is not visible at ground level due to absorption by water vapor in the atmosphere below 40,000 feet, it is highly desirable to make observations above this altitude. SOFIA will provide the opportunity for astronomers to conduct high-altitude research for extended periods of time. Current study is focused on wind tunnel testing for the open cavity. If not controlled, air would create resonance and damage the telescope. For this reason, SOFIA will design a boundary layer control device to achieve laminar flow over the cavity. This also provides a clearer flow for seeing, thus improving resolution on infrared sources. Other effects being tested in the wind tunnel are aerodynamic torque loads on the telescope, and flutter loads on the tail.

  4. Fatigue Management Strategies for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bendrick, Gregg

    2012-01-01

    Operation of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy entails a great deal of night-time work, with the potential for both acute and chronic sleep loss, as well as circadian rhythm dysynchrony. Such fatigue can result in performance decrements, with an increased risk of operator error. The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center manages this fatigue risk by means of a layered approach, to include: 1) Education and Training 2) Work Schedule Scoring 3) Obtained Sleep Metrics 4) Workplace and Operational Mitigations and 5) Incident or Accident Investigation. Specifically, quantitative estimation of the work schedule score, as well as the obtained sleep metric, allows Supervisors and Managers to better manage the risk of fatigue within the context of mission requirements.

  5. The Infrared-Optical Telescope (IRT) of the Exist Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kutyrev, Alexander; Bloom, Joshua; Gehrels, Neil; Golisano, Craig; Gong, Quan; Grindlay, Jonathan; Moseley, Samuel; Woodgate, Bruce

    2010-01-01

    The IRT is a 1.1m visible and infrared passively cooled telescope, which can locate, identify and obtain spectra of GRB afterglows at redshifts up to z 20. It will also acquire optical-IR, imaging and spectroscopy of AGN and transients discovered by the EXIST (The Energetic X-ray Imaging Survey Telescope). The IRT imaging and spectroscopic capabilities cover a broad spectral range from 0.32.2m in four bands. The identical fields of view in the four instrument bands are each split in three subfields: imaging, objective prism slitless for the field and objective prism single object slit low resolution spectroscopy, and high resolution long slit on single object. This allows the instrument, to do simultaneous broadband photometry or spectroscopy of the same object over the full spectral range, thus greatly improving the efficiency of the observatory and its detection limits. A prompt follow up (within three minutes) of the transient discovered by the EXIST makes IRT a unique tool for detection and study of these events, which is particularly valuable at wavelengths unavailable to the ground based observatories.

  6. Status of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrz, R. D.; Becklin, E. E.; de Buizer, J.; Herter, T.; Keller, L. D.; Krabbe, A.; Marcum, P. M.; Roellig, T. L.; Sandell, G. H. L.; Temi, P.; Vacca, W. D.; Young, E. T.; Zinnecker, H.

    2011-09-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a joint US/German project, is a 2.5-m infrared airborne telescope carried by a Boeing 747-SP that flies in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 ft (13.72 km). This facility is capable of observing from 0.3 μm to 1.6 mm with an average transmission greater than 80% averaged over all wavelengths. SOFIA will be staged out of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center aircraft operations facility at Palmdale, CA. The SOFIA Science Mission Operations (SMO) will be located at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. First science flights began in 2010 and a full operations schedule of up to one hundred 8 to 10 hour-long flights per year will be reached by 2014. The observatory is expected to operate until the mid-2030s. SOFIA's initial complement of seven focal plane instruments includes broadband imagers, moderate-resolution spectrographs that will resolve broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high-resolution spectrometers capable of studying the kinematics of atomic and molecular gas at sub-km/s resolution. We describe the SOFIA facility and outline the opportunities for observations by the general scientific community and for future instrumentation development. The operational characteristics of the SOFIA first-generation instruments are summarized. The status of the flight test program is discussed and we show First Light images obtained at wavelengths from 5.4 to 37 μm with the FORCAST imaging camera. Additional information about SOFIA is available at http://www.sofia.usra.edu and http://www.sofia.usra.edu/Science/docs/SofiaScienceVision051809-1.pdf.

  7. On-orbit assembly and servicing of future space observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lillie, C. F.

    2006-06-01

    NASA's experience servicing the Hubble Space Telescope, including the installation of optical elements to compensate for a mirror manufacturing error; replacement of failed avionics and worn-out batteries, gyros, thermal insulation and solar arrays; upgrades to the data handling subsystem; installation of far more capable instruments; and retrofitting the NICMOS experiment with a mechanical cryocooler has clearly demonstrated the advantages of on-orbit servicing. This effort has produced a unique astronomical observatory that is orders of magnitude more capable than when it was launched and can be operated for several times its original design life. The in-space operations capabilities that are developed for NASA's Exploration Program will make it possible to assemble and service spacecraft in space and to service them in cis-lunar and L2 orbits. Future space observatories should be designed to utilize these capabilities. This paper discusses the application of the lessons learned from HST and our plans for servicing the Advanced X-ray Astrophysical Observatory with the Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle and the Space Station Freedom Customer Servicing Facility to future space observatories, such as SAFIR and LifeFinder that are designed to operate in heliocentric orbits. It addresses the use of human and robotic in-space capabilities that would be required for on-orbit assembly and servicing for future space observatories, and describes some of our design concepts for these activities.

  8. Occultation by Pluto's atmosphere and other results from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reach, William T.; Person, Michael

    2015-08-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy is a 2.5-m telescope flown aboard a 747-SP aircraft. The observatory flies above 99% of the Earth's atmospheric water, enabling infrared observations at wavelengths where light is completely obscured from the ground. The observatory also flies above much of the atmospheric scintillation, and its mobility enables observations of plaentary occultations. We will report on observatory capabilities and the results of an attempt to observe the 2015 June 29 occultation of Pluto along the central chord of the shadow to constrain a "central flash" at visible and near-infrared wavelengths.

  9. Infrared Spectroscopy of Astrophysical Gas, Grains, and Ices with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (sofia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrz, R. D.; Becklin, E. E.

    2009-06-01

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) will be a premier facility for studying the physics and chemistry of the stellar evolution process for many decades. SOFIA spectroscopic science applications will be discussed, with special emphasis on investigations related to infrared spectroscopy of astrophysical gas, grains, and ices. Examples will be given of spectroscopic studies of the interstellar medium, protostars, obscured sources in molecular cloud cores, circumstellar disks around young stellar objects, remnants of nova and supernova explosions, and winds of evolved stellar systems.

  10. Complementarity of NGST, ALMA, and Far IR Space Observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mather, John C.

    2004-01-01

    The Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) will both start operations long before a new far IR observatory to follow SIRTF into space can be launched. What will be unknown even after they are operational, and what will a far IR space observatory be able to add? I will compare the telescope design concepts and capabilities and the advertised scientific programs for the projects and attempt to forecast the research topics that will be at the forefront in 2010.

  11. Infrared divergences in de Sitter space

    SciTech Connect

    Polarski, D. Service d'Astrophysique, CEN Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette CEDEX, France)

    1991-03-15

    Infrared divergences in de Sitter space are considered. It is shown that symmetry breaking is unavoidable only when the infrared divergence is strong enough. The static vacuum has no symmetry breaking despite the presence of an infrared divergence.

  12. Space-Based Thermal Infrared Studies of Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainzer, A.; Usui, F.; Trilling, D. E.

    Large-area surveys operating at mid-infrared wavelengths have proven to be a valuable means of discovering and characterizing minor planets. Through the use of radiometric models, it is possible to derive physical properties such as diameters, albedos, and thermal inertia for large numbers of objects. Modern detector array technology has resulted in a significant improvement in spatial resolution and sensitivity compared with previous generations of spacebased infrared telescopes, giving rise to a commensurate increase in the number of objects that have been observed at these wavelengths. Spacebased infrared surveys of asteroids therefore offer an effective method of rapidly gathering information about the orbital and physical properties of small-body populations. The AKARI, Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)/ Near- Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), Spitzer Space Telescope, and Herschel Space Observatory missions have significantly increased the number of minor planets with well-determined diameters and albedos.

  13. Mission Concept for the Single Aperture Far-Infrared (SAFIR) Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benford, Dominic J.; Amato, Michael J.; Mather, John C.; Moseley, S. Harvey, Jr.

    2004-01-01

    We have developed a preliminary but comprehensive mission concept for SAFIR, as a 10 m-class far-infrared and submillimeter observatory that would begin development later in this decade to meet the needs outlined above. Its operating temperature (< or = 4K) and instrument complement would be optimized to reach the natural sky confusion limit in the far-infrared with diffraction-limited performance down to at least the atmospheric cutoff, lambda > or approx. 40 microns. This would provide a point source sensitivity improvement of several orders of magnitude over that of the Spitzer Space Telescope (previously SIRTF) or the Herschel Space Observatory. Additionally, it would have an angular resolution 12 times finer than that of Spitzer and three times finer than Herschel. This sensitivity and angular resolution are necessary to perform imaging and spectroscopic studies of individual galaxies in the early universe. We have considered many aspects of the SAFIR mission, including the telescope technology (optical design, materials, and packaging), detector needs and technologies, cooling method and required technology developments, attitude and pointing, power systems, launch vehicle, and mission operations. The most challenging requirements for this mission are operating temperature and aperture size of the telescope, and the development of detector arrays. SAFIR can take advantage of much of the technology under development for JWST, but with much less stringent requirements on optical accuracy.

  14. AKARI: space infrared cooled telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onaka, Takashi; Salama, Alberto

    2009-12-01

    AKARI, formerly known as ASTRO-F, is the second Japanese space mission to perform infrared astronomical observations. AKARI was launched on 21 February 2006 (UT) and brought into a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 700 km by a JAXA M-V rocket. AKARI has a telescope with a primary-mirror aperture size of 685 mm together with two focal-plane instruments on board: the Infrared Camera (IRC), which covers the spectral range 2-26 μm and the Far-Infrared Surveyor (FIS), which operates in the range 50-180 μm. The telescope mirrors are made of sandwich-type silicon carbide, specially developed for AKARI. The focal-plane instruments and the telescope are cooled by a unique cryogenic system that kept the telescope at 6K for 550 days with 180 l super-fluid liquid Helium (LHe) with the help of mechanical coolers on board. Despite the small telescope size, the cold environment and the state-of-the-art detectors enable very sensitive observations at infrared wavelengths. To take advantage of the characteristics of the sun-synchronous polar orbit, AKARI performed an all-sky survey during the LHe holding period in four far-infrared bands with FIS and two mid-infrared bands with IRC, which surpasses the IRAS survey made in 1983 in sensitivity, spatial resolution, and spectral coverage. AKARI also made over 5,000 pointing observations at given targets in the sky for approximately 10 min each, for deep imaging and spectroscopy from 2 to 180 μm during the LHe holding period. The LHe ran out on 26 August 2007, since which date the telescope and instrument are still kept around 40K by the mechanical cooler on board, and near-infrared imaging and spectroscopic observations with IRC are now being continued in pointing mode.

  15. Space infrared telescope facility project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.

    1988-01-01

    The functions undertaken during this reporting period were: to inform the planetary science community of the progress and status of the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) Project; to solicit input from the planetary science community on needs and requirements of planetary science in the use of SIRTF at such time that it becomes an operational facility; and a white paper was prepared on the use of the SIRTF for solar system studies.

  16. In Brief: Chandra Observatory marks 10 years in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2009-08-01

    NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, originally envisioned as a 5-year mission, was deployed into an elliptical orbit around Earth 10 years ago, on 23 July 1999. The most powerful X-ray telescope yet, Chandra has provided a peak into the high-energy universe and has independently confirmed the existence of dark energy. Martin Weisskopf, Chandra project scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., said discoveries made possible by the observatory “have made dramatic changes to our understanding of the universe and its constituents.” “The Great Observatories program—of which Chandra is a major part—shows how astronomers need as many tools as possible to tackle the big questions out there,” said Ed Weiler, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and Spitzer Space Telescope are NASA's other Great Observatories. For more information, visit http://chandra.harvard.edu/ten/ and http://chandra.nasa.gov.

  17. World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet mission: state of art 2016

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sachkov, Mikhail; Gomez De Castro, Ana; Shustov, Boris M.

    2016-07-01

    The WSO-UV (World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet) project is intended to built and operate an international space observatory designed for observations in the UV (115 - 300 nm) range, where some of the most important astrophysical processes can be efficiently studied. The observatory includes a 170 cm aperture telescope capable of high-resolution spectroscopy and long slit low-resolution spectroscopy with the WUVS instrument; moreover UV imaging will be available with cameras. WSO-UV is a Russian led mission that will be operating in high Earth orbit (geosynchronous with inclination 51.^o6) for five+five years grating access to the UV range to the world-wide astronomical community in the post-Hubble era. Spain is a major partner to the project. Updated information of the WSO-UV project is provided periodically in the COSPAR meetings. Henceforth, this review provides a summary on the project, its status and the major outcomes since the last COSPAR Assembly.

  18. Infrared Spectroscopic Studies with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (sofia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrz, R. D.; Becklin, E. E.

    2011-06-01

    The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) will be a premier facility for studying the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium and the stellar evolution process for many decades. SOFIA's first-generation instrument complement includes broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematic studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km/s resolution. SOFIA spectroscopic science applications will be discussed, with special emphasis on investigations related to infrared spectroscopy of astrophysical gas, grains, and ices. First light images and early science results related to these topics will be presented.

  19. Vibration isolation system for the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaiser, T.; Kunz, N.

    1988-01-01

    The Vibration Isolation System for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is studied. Included are discussions of the various concepts, design goals, concerns, and the proposed configuration for the Vibration Isolation System.

  20. The Newly-named "Herschel Space Observatory" revisits its science goals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-12-01

    In science, new answers often trigger new questions. And in astronomy, new questions often mean new instruments. The ESA 'Herschel Space Observatory', formerly called 'Far Infrared and Submillimetre Telescope' (FIRST), is the instrument that inherits many of the questions triggered by its predecessor, ESA's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). 200 astronomers from all over the world met last week in Toledo, Spain, to discuss how to insert these new questions in Herschel's 'scientific agenda'. Thus, Herschel will study the origin of stars and galaxies -its main goals-, but it will also keep on searching for water in space -as ISO did-, and will help us to understand the formation of our own Solar System through detailed observations of comets and of the poorly known 'transneptunian objects'. A new name for 'FIRST' The new name for FIRST, 'Herschel Space Observatory', or 'Herschel', was announced at the opening of the Toledo conference by ESA's Director of Science, Roger Bonnet. William Herschel was an Anglo-German astronomer who discovered infrared light in 1800. Thanks to his discovery, astronomers can now observe a facet of the Universe that remains hidden to other telescopes. ESA's Herschel is the first space observatory covering a major part of the far-infrared and submillimetre waveband (from 57 to 670 microns) and its new name honours Herschel on the 200th anniversary of his discovery. Roger Bonnet explained: "It strikes me that we are at a key scientific conference devoted to the next ESA infrared space mission, gathering many 'infrared pioneers', 200 years after a famous musician and astronomer discovered that by placing a thermometer in the remote part of the solar spectrum, where apparently there was no light, he could detect heat. What we call now infrared radiation. This meeting marks two events: the beginning of a very promising utilisation of FIRST, and the adoption of a new name for the telescope: the Herschel Space Observatory". Roger Bonnet also

  1. SOFIA Project: SOFIA-Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tseng, Ting

    2007-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation on the SOFIA project is shown. The topics include: 1) Aircraft Information; 2) Major Components of SOFIA; 3) Aircraft External View; 4) Airborne Observatory Layout; 5) Telescope Assembly; 6) Uncoated Primary Mirror; 7) Airborne Astronomy; 8) Requirements & Specifications; 9) Technical Challenges; 10) Observatory Operation; and 11) SOFIA Flight Test.

  2. Photometric Performance of the Wyoming Infrared Observatory Prime-focus, Near-infrared Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnaby, D.; Johnson, P. E.; Spillar, E. J.

    1994-12-01

    The Wyoming Infrared Observatory (WIRO) prime-focus, near-infrared camera (nicknamed ``Babe'' after the famous ox of the same color) was designed specifically for wide-field imaging between 1 to 2.5 microns. To achieve the wide field-of-view, we mount the camera at the prime focus of the WIRO 2.3-meter telescope, a configuration which provides the camera with a total square field-of-view of 2stackrel {('}}{_{.}) 08 x 2stackrel {('}}{_{.}) 08. Since achieving first light in the summer of 1989, several scientific papers have been published based upon galaxy images obtained with this camera (for instance, Barnaby & Thronson 1994). The design and construction of the camera have been covered by Spillar et (1990), however the photometric accuracy and repeatability of this camera have not been described before now. In this paper, we show photometry obtained with the camera of calibration stars with near-infrared magnitudes ranging from 7() m to 14() m. These measurements indicate that over this range in brightness, the zero-point magnitude shifts about +0.06() m while the relative uncertainty increases from 0.03() m to 0.1() m. In addition to photometry of calibration stars, we report on data comparing Babe near-infrared photometry of the galaxy M51 to photometry obtained by authors using other near-infrared aperture photometers and cameras. This comparison shows our photometry is consistent to within 0.1() m with these other measurements down to a surface brightness of 18() m arcsec(-2) . These data, then, indicate that we can use our camera to measure near-infrared surface brightness of galaxies with a relative uncertainty of about 0.1() m and a systematic uncertainty of about 0.1() m. This work was supported by NSF through grant AST-9117096 and EPSCoR grant RII-8610680 and by a Theodore Dunham, Jr. Grant from the Fund for Astrophysical Research.

  3. Space Observatories RadioAstron and Millimetron: Results and Prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kardashev, Nikolay

    The Russian Academy of Sciences and Federal Space Agency, together with many international organizations, prepared the launch of the RadioAstron orbiting space observatory from the Baikonur cosmodrome on July 18, 2011. The spacecraft was launched by the Ukrainian Zenit-3F rocket with onboard 10-m reflector radio telescope, four feed and low noise receivers for operating at 1.2-1.6, 6.2, 18 and 92 cm wavelengths and both circular polarizations, a data formatter, a data transmission module and a hydrogen maser frequency standard. The orbital period in 2012-2015 will vary from 8.3 to 9.0 days, the perigee - from 7,065 km to 81,500 km, the apogee - from 280,000 to 353,000 km. Together with ground-based radio telescopes and a set of stations for tracking, collecting, and reducing the data obtained, this space radio telescope forms a multi-antenna ground-space radio interferometer with extremely long baselines, making it possible for the first time to study various objects in the Universe with angular resolutions a million times better than it is possible with the human eye. The project is targeted at systematic studies of compact radio-emitting sources and their dynamics. Objects to be studied include quasars (super massive black holes and relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei, pulsars (neutron stars and hypothetical quark stars), cosmic masers (regions of stars and planetary systems formation in our and other galaxies), interplanetary and interstellar plasma, and the gravitational field of the Earth. The fringes with the ground-space interferometer were founded at the baseline projections up to 25 diameters of the Earth, and corresponding models of the sources will be reported. Millimetron is the next space mission with a 10-m cooled space telescope optimized for observations in the millimeter and far infrared wavelengths. This mission will be able to contribute to the explorations of several key problems in astrophysics, such as study of formation and evolution

  4. Infrared detectors for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardimona, D. A.; Huang, D. H.; Cowan, V.; Morath, C.

    2011-05-01

    Two of the main requirements for space situational awareness are to locate and identify dim and/or distant objects. At the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate, we are investigating how nanostructured metal surfaces can produce plasmon-enhanced fields to address the first function. We are also investigating quantum interference effects in semiconductor quantum dots inside photonic crystal cavities to address the amplification of weak signals. To address the second function of identification of space objects, we are investigating a wavelength-tunable detector scheme that involves a coupled double quantum well structure with a thin middle barrier between the two wells. The photocurrent from this structure will be swept out with a lateral bias. In order to eliminate the diffraction loss of incident photons by a surface grating structure for the z-polarization required in normal quantum well infrared photodetector structures, we will grow an array of self-organized quantum dots buried in one of the quantum wells of a symmetric double quantum well structure. In this paper, we will first describe the requirements for detectors in space, then we will describe our work in the above topics, and finally we will briefly mention our forays into other areas of quantum-structured detectors for use in space.

  5. Handling Qualities Flight Testing of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaser, Scott T.; Strovers, Brian K.

    2011-01-01

    Airborne infrared astronomy has a long successful history, albeit relatively unknown outside of the astronomy community. A major problem with ground based infrared astronomy is the absorption and scatter of infrared energy by water in the atmosphere. Observing the universe from above 40,000 ft puts the observation platform above 99% of the water vapor in the atmosphere, thereby addressing this problem at a fraction of the cost of space based systems. The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) aircraft is the most ambitious foray into the field of airborne infrared astronomy in history. Using a 747SP (The Boeing Company, Chicago, Illinois) aircraft modified with a 2.5m telescope located in the aft section of the fuselage, the SOFIA endeavors to provide views of the universe never before possible and at a fraction of the cost of space based systems. The modification to the airplane includes moveable doors and aperture that expose the telescope assembly. The telescope assembly is aimed and stabilized using a multitude of on board systems. This modification has the potential to cause aerodynamic anomalies that could induce undesired forces either at the cavity itself or indirectly due to interference with the empennage, both of which could cause handling qualities issues. As a result, an extensive analysis and flight test program was conducted from December 2009 through March 2011. Several methods, including a Lower Order Equivalent Systems analysis and pilot assessment, were used to ascertain the effects of the modification. The SOFIA modification was found to cause no adverse handling qualities effects and the aircraft was cleared for operational use. This paper discusses the history and modification to the aircraft, development of test procedures and analysis, results of testing and analysis, lessons learned for future projects and justification for operational certification.

  6. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy - A New Tool for Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruzek, M. J.; Becklin, E.; Burgdorf, M. J.; Reach, W.

    2010-12-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint US/German effort to fly a 2.5 meter telescope on a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft at stratospheric altitudes where the atmosphere is largely transparent at infrared wavelengths. Key goals of the observatory include understanding the formation of stars and planets; the origin and evolution of the interstellar medium; the star formation history of galaxies; and planetary science. SOFIA offers the convenient accessibility of a ground-based observatory coupled with performance advantages of a space-based telescope. SOFIA’s scientific instruments can be exchanged regularly for repairs, to accommodate changing scientific requirements, and to incorporate new technologies. SOFIA’s portability will enable specialized observations of transient and location-specific events such as stellar occultations of Trans-Neptunian Objects. Unlike many spaceborne observatories, SOFIA can observe bright planets and moons directly, and can observe objects closer to the sun than Earth, e.g. comets in their most active phase, and the planet Venus. SOFIA’s first generation instruments cover the spectral range of .3 to 240 microns and have been designed with planetary science in mind. The High-speed Imaging Photometer for Occultations (HIPO) is designed to measure occultations of stars by Kuiper Belt Objects, with SOFIA flying into the predicted shadows and timing the occultation ingress and egress to determine the size of the occulting body. HIPO will also enable transit observations of extrasolar planets. The Faint Object Infrared Camera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST) and the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera (HAWC) will enable mid-infrared and far-infrared (respectively) imaging with a wide range of filters for comets and giant planets, and colorimetric observations of small, unresolved bodies to measure the spectral energy distribution of their thermal emission. The German Receiver for Astronomy at

  7. Infrared detectors for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fick, Wolfgang; Gassmann, Kai Uwe; Haas, Luis-Dieter; Haiml, Markus; Hanna, Stefan; Hübner, Dominique; Höhnemann, Holger; Nothaft, Hans-Peter; Thöt, Richard

    2013-12-01

    The motivation and intended benefits for the use of infrared (IR) detectors for space applications are highlighted. The actual status of state-of-the-art IR detectors for space applications is presented based on some of AIM's currently ongoing focal plane detector module developments covering the spectral range from the short-wavelength IR (SWIR) to the long-wavelength IR (LWIR) and very long-wavelength IR (VLWIR), where both imaging and spectroscopy applications will be addressed. In particular, the integrated detector cooler assemblies for a mid-wavelength IR (MWIR) push-broom imaging satellite mission, for the German hyperspectral satellite mission EnMAP and the IR detectors for the Sentinel 3 SLSTR will be elaborated. Additionally, dedicated detector modules for LWIR/VLWIR sounding, providing the possibility to have two different PVs driven by one ROIC, will be addressed.

  8. WUVS spectrographs of World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savanov, Igor; Sachkov, Mikhail; Shustov, Boris M.; Shugarov, Andrey

    2016-07-01

    WSO-UV (World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet) project is an international space observatory designed for observations in the UV (115 - 320 nm). It includes a 170 cm aperture telescope capable of high-resolution spectroscopy, long slit low-resolution spectroscopy and deep UV and optical imaging. WUVS - the set of three ultraviolet spectrographs are regarded as the main instrument of «Spektr -UF» space mission. The spectrographs unit includes three channels and is intended for acquisition of spectrums of high (R=50000) and low (R=1000) resolution of the observed objects in the electromagnetic radiation's ultraviolet range (115-310 nm). We present the design philosophy of WUVS and summarize its key characteristics. We shall present the main properties of WUVS new structure and current status of its mockups and prototypes manufacturing.

  9. Large space observatories of the 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nein, M.; Howell, J.; Morgan, S.; de Sanctis, C.; Koch, D.

    1987-01-01

    Early in the 21st century, advanced space telescopes will be readied to continue the astronomical observations of the Great Observatories currently under development. This paper describes representative concepts from the very large UV/optical and gamma-ray telescopes under study by NASA, the scientific community, and industry. These studies demonstrate that historical approaches to improving the resolution and sensitivity of space telescopes have reached technology barriers which can only be overcome by innovative solutions to the telescope design. Some of the key technology issues which are guiding the approaches for advanced space telescopes are discussed, and arguments are presented that enabling technology development for these future systems must commence now.

  10. The SOFIA Airborne Infrared Observatory - first science highlights and future science potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zinnecker, H.

    2014-10-01

    SOFIA, short for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is a Boeing 747SP aircraft with a 2.7m telescope flying as high as 45000 ft in the stratosphere above 99 percent of the precipitable water vapor. SOFIA normally operates from its base in Palmdale, California, and a typical observing flight lasts for 10 hours before returning to base. SOFIA has started astronomical observations in Dec 2010 and has completed some 30 early science flights in 2011, delivering a number of exciting results and discoveries, both in mid-infrared imaging (5-40mu) and in far-infrared (THz) heterodyne high-resolution spectroscopy which were published in mid-2012 in special issues of ApJ Letters and A & A, respectively. Meanwhile, in July 2013, as part of Cycle 1, SOFIA has deployed to New Zealand for a total of 9 flights (all of them successful) and has observed key targets in the southern hemisphere at THz frequencies, including star forming regions in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. In this talk, I will present a few highlights of SOFIA early science and its future potential, when the full suite of 7 instruments will be implemented by the time of full operations in 2015. As Herschel ran out of cryogens in April 2013, SOFIA will be the premier FIR-astronomical facility for many years to come. Synergies with ALMA and CCAT must be explored. SOFIA is a major bilateral project between NASA and the German Space Agency (DLR), however as an international observatory it offers observing time to the whole astronomical community world-wide, not only to the US and German primary partners.

  11. The Science of Gravitational Waves with Space Observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thorpe, James Ira

    2013-01-01

    After decades of effort, direct detection of gravitational waves from astrophysical sources is on the horizon. Aside from teaching us about gravity itself, gravitational waves hold immense promise as a tool for general astrophysics. In this talk I will provide an overview of the science enabled by a space-based gravitational wave observatory sensitive in the milli-Hertz frequency band including the nature and evolution of massive black holes and their host galaxies, the demographics of stellar remnant compact objects in the Milky Way, and the behavior of gravity in the strong-field regime. I will also summarize the current status of efforts in the US and Europe to implement a space-based gravitational wave observatory.

  12. Infrared space astrometry project JASMINE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouda, N.; Kobayashi, Y.; Yamada, Y.; Yano, T.; Yano

    2008-07-01

    A Japanese plan of an infrared (z-band:0.9 μas or k-band:2.2 μas) space astrometry (JASMINE-project) is introduced. JASMINE (Japan Astrometry Satellite Mission for INfrared Exploration) will measure distances and tangential motions of stars in the bulge of the Milky Way. It will measure parallaxes, positions with an accuracy of 10 μas and proper motions with an accuracy of 10 μas/year for stars brighter than z=14 mag or k=11 mag. JASMINE will observe about ten million stars belonging to the bulge component of our Galaxy. With a completely new “map” of the Galactic bulge, it is expected that many new exciting scientific results will be obtained in various fields of astronomy. Presently, JASMINE is in a development phase, with a targeted launch date around 2016. Science targets, preliminary design of instruments, observing strategy, critical technical issues in JASMINE and also Nano-JASMINE project are described in this paper.

  13. Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO) at Johnson Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    This Quick Time movie depicts the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO), formerly Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), in its entirety, at the orbital processing facility at the Johnson Space Center. In 1999, the AXAF was renamed the CXO in honor of the late Indian-American Novel Laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. The CXO is the most sophisticated and the world's most powerful x-ray telescope ever built. It is designed to observe x-rays from high energy regions of the Universe, such as hot gas in the remnants of exploded stars. It produces picture-like images of x-ray emissions analogous to those made in visible light, as well as gathers data on the chemical composition of x-ray radiating objects. The CXO helps astronomers worldwide better understand the structure and evolution of the universe by studying powerful sources of x-rays such as exploding stars, matter falling into black holes, and other exotic celestial objects. TRW, Inc. was the prime contractor for the development of the CXO and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center was responsible for its project management. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls science and flight operations of the CXO for NASA from Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Observatory was launched July 22, 1999 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, STS-93 mission.

  14. Decomposability and scalability in space-based observatory scheduling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muscettola, Nicola; Smith, Stephen F.

    1992-01-01

    In this paper, we discuss issues of problem and model decomposition within the HSTS scheduling framework. HSTS was developed and originally applied in the context of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) scheduling problem, motivated by the limitations of the current solution and, more generally, the insufficiency of classical planning and scheduling approaches in this problem context. We first summarize the salient architectural characteristics of HSTS and their relationship to previous scheduling and AI planning research. Then, we describe some key problem decomposition techniques supported by HSTS and underlying our integrated planning and scheduling approach, and we discuss the leverage they provide in solving space-based observatory scheduling problems.

  15. SIRTF - The Space Infrared Telescope Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Werner, Michael W.; Eisenhardt, Peter

    1988-01-01

    The complexity and variety of objects in the infrared universe have been revealed by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). Further exploration of this universe will be possible with the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), which offers vast improvements in sensitivity and resolution over IRAS. SIRTF's planned capabilities and current status are briefly reviewed.

  16. Far-Infrared Astronomy with The Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hildebrand, Roger, H.

    1997-01-01

    This report summarizes work made possible by NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory. The results of the work have appeared in over 80 papers. The publications fall in three main areas: instrumentation, observations, and analysis. Although there is considerable overlap between these categories it will be convenient to group them separately.

  17. A future large-aperture UVOIR space observatory: reference designs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rioux, Norman; Thronson, Harley; Feinberg, Lee; Stahl, H. Philip; Redding, Dave; Jones, Andrew; Sturm, James; Collins, Christine; Liu, Alice

    2015-09-01

    Our joint NASA GSFC/JPL/MSFC/STScI study team has used community-provided science goals to derive mission needs, requirements, and candidate mission architectures for a future large-aperture, non-cryogenic UVOIR space observatory. We describe the feasibility assessment of system thermal and dynamic stability for supporting coronagraphy. The observatory is in a Sun-Earth L2 orbit providing a stable thermal environment and excellent field of regard. Reference designs include a 36-segment 9.2 m aperture telescope that stows within a five meter diameter launch vehicle fairing. Performance needs developed under the study are traceable to a variety of reference designs including options for a monolithic primary mirror.

  18. A Future Large-Aperture UVOIR Space Observatory: Reference Designs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thronson, Harley; Rioux, Norman; Feinberg, Lee; Stahl, H. Philip; Redding, Dave; Jones, Andrew; Sturm, James; Collins, Christine; Liu, Alice

    2015-01-01

    Our joint NASA GSFC/JPL/MSFC/STScI study team has used community-provided science goals to derive mission needs, requirements, and candidate mission architectures for a future large-aperture, non-cryogenic UVOIR space observatory. We describe the feasibility assessment of system thermal and dynamic stability for supporting coronagraphy. The observatory is in a Sun-Earth L2 orbit providing a stable thermal environment and excellent field of regard. Reference designs include a 36-segment 9.2 m aperture telescope that stows within a five meter diameter launch vehicle fairing. Performance needs developed under the study are traceable to a variety of reference designs including options for a monolithic primary mirror.

  19. Modelling the evolution of Comet Siding Spring's activity using Herschel Space Observatory measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiss, Csaba; Müller, Thomas; Kidger, Mark Richard; Mattisson, Peter; Marton, Gabor

    2015-08-01

    Comet Siding Spring was observed with the Herschel Space Observatory in March 2013 at a heliocentric distance of 6.5 au, already showing siginficant activity. Using the far-infrared radial intensity profiles of the coma at 70, 100 and 160um we were able to construct a detailed model of the dust emission and costrain the dust properties. Our results show a significant overaboundance of large grains in the coma with a size frequency index of ~2. We were also able to estimate the activity onset time: this likely happened at a helicentric distance of ~8 au, six months before the Herschel observations.

  20. ASTROPLANE - A European airborne observatory for infrared astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosmovici, C. B.

    The history, goals, and design concepts of Astroplane, a proposed European airborne IR and submillimeter observatory, are discussed. The various proposals advanced since 1979 are summarized, and the need for an airborne observatory to complement ground and satellite observations and to offer European astronomers observing opportunities like those provided by the NASA KAO in the U.S. is stressed. The effects of the atmosphere on IR transmission, some typical NASA airborne results, and the observability of different atomic species (from ground, air, or satellite) are documented in tables. The importance of airborne IR observations of Halley's comet during its 1986 perihelion is shown. The Astroplane design proposed by DFVLR is described: a circular 120-cm Cassegrain telescope carried to an altitude of about 13 km by a modified Challenger CL-601 aircraft. It is found in an overall cost comparison that the DFVLR Astroplane, with a life of 20 years and 600 observing hours per year, would cost only one seventh as much per observing hour as either balloon or satellite (IRAS) observatories.

  1. Damping SOFIA: passive and active damping for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maly, Joseph R.; Keas, Paul J.; Glaese, Roger M.

    2001-07-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA is being developed by NASA and the German space agency, Deutschen Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), with an international contractor team. The 2.5-meter reflecting telescope of SOFIA will be the world's largest airborne telescope. Flying in an open cavity on a modified 747 aircraft, SOFIA will perform infrared astronomy while cruising at 41,000 feet and while being buffeted by a 550- mile-per-hour slipstream. A primary system requirement of SOFIA is tracking stability of 0.2 arc-seconds, and a 3-axis pointing control model has been used to evaluate the feasibility of achieving this kind of stability. The pointing control model shows that increased levels of damping in certain elastic modes of the telescope assembly will help achieve the tracking stability goal and also expand the bandwidth of the attitude controller. This paper describes the preliminary work that has been done to approximate the reduction in image motion yielded by various structure configurations that use reaction masses to attenuate the flexible motions of the telescope structure. Three approaches are considered: passive tuned-mass dampers, active-mass dampers, and attitude control with reaction-mass actuators. Expected performance improvements for each approach, and practical advantages and disadvantages associated with each are presented.

  2. The Solar Dynamics Observatory and Its Contributions to Space Weather

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chamberlin, Phillip C.

    2011-01-01

    The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched on 11 February 2010 and has worked flawlessly in its first year and a half of operation. SDO was the first mission launched for NASA's Living With a Star Program (LWS), so its focus is not only studying the causes and drivers of the variable Sun, but also how these variations force similar changes in the Earth and other objects within the Heliosphere. Due to SDO's many Space Weather goals, this presentation will not only show some of the recent, ground-breaking new results provided by SDO, but also focus on the real-time Space Weather advances provided by this spacecraft. A main theme throughout this talk will be methods and tools that researchers around the world can utilize to access and manipulate the SDO data real-time for both fundamental science and Space Weather monitoring purposes.

  3. Modeling Titan's thermal infrared spectrum for high-resolution space observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coustenis, A.; Encrenaz, Th.; Bezard, B.; Bjoraker, G.; Graner, G.; Dang-Nhu, M.; Arie, E.

    1993-04-01

    The observability of minor species in Titan's atmosphere in its infrared thermal range is systematically studied and modeled to generate synthetic spectra. The model results on methane, water vapor, benzene, allene, and other heavier trace molecules are used to illustrate the capabilities of instruments aboard the Infrared Space Observatory, in particular a high-resolution composite infrared spectrometer, to determine vertical distributions of the molecules in a few hours of integration time.

  4. Possible Space-Based Gravitational-Wave Observatory Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livas, Jeffrey C.

    2015-01-01

    The existence of gravitational waves was established by the discovery of the Binary Pulsar PSR 1913+16 by Hulse and Taylor in 1974, for which they were awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize. However, it is the exploitation of these gravitational waves for the extraction of the astrophysical parameters of the sources that will open the first new astronomical window since the development of gamma ray telescopes in the 1970's and enable a new era of discovery and understanding of the Universe. Direct detection is expected in at least two frequency bands from the ground before the end of the decade with Advanced LIGO and Pulsar Timing Arrays. However, many of the most exciting sources will be continuously observable in the band from 0.1-100 mHz, accessible only from space due to seismic noise and gravity gradients in that band that disturb ground-based observatories. This poster will discuss a possible mission concept, Space-based Gravitational-wave Observatory (SGO-Mid) developed from the original Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) reference mission but updated to reduce risk and cost.

  5. Space-time coordinated metadata for the Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rots, A. H.

    2007-08-01

    Space-time coordinate metadata are at the very core of understanding astronomical data and information. This aspect of data description requires very careful consideration. The design needs to be sufficiently general that it can adequately represent the many coordinate systems and conventions that are in use in the community. On the other hand the most basic requirement is that the space-time metadata for queries, for resource descriptions, and for data be complete and self-consistent. It is important to keep in mind that space, time, redshift, and spectrum are strongly intertwined coordinates: time has little meaning without knowing the location, and vice-versa; redshift and spectral data require position and velocity for correct interpretation. The design of the metadata structure has been completed at this time and will support most, if not all, coordinate systems and transformations between them for the Virtual Observatory, either immediately or through extensions. This work has been supported by NASA under contract NAS 8-03060 to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for operation of the Chandra X-ray Center.

  6. Vacuum Strength of Two Candidate Glasses for a Space Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manning, Timothy Andrew; Tucker, Dennis S.; Herren, Kenneth A.; Gregory, Don A.

    2007-01-01

    The strengths of two candidate glass types for use in a space observatory were measured. Samples of ultra-low expansion glass (ULE) and borosilicate (Pyrex) were tested in air and in vacuum at room temperature (20 degrees C) and in vacuum after being heated to 200 degrees C. Both glasses tested in vacuum showed a significant increase in strength over those tested in air. However, there was no statistical difference between the strength of samples tested in vacuum at room temperature and those tested in vacuum after heating to 200 degrees C.

  7. Vacuum Strength of Two Candidate Glasses for a Space Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manning, T. a.; Tucker, D. S.; Herren, K. A.; Gregory, D. A.

    2007-01-01

    The strengths of two candidate glass types for use in a space observatory were measured. Samples of ultra-low expansion glass (ULE) and borosilicate (Pyrex) were tested in air and in vacuum at room temperature (20 C) and in vacuum after being heated to 200 C. Both glasses tested in vacuum showed an increase in strength over those tested in air. However, there was no statistical difference between the strength of samples tested in vacuum at room temperature and those tested in vacuum after heating to 200 C.

  8. Contributions of the Onsala Space Observatory to the GGOS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, Rüdiger; Elgered, Gunnar; Hobiger, Thomas; Scherneck, Hans-Georg

    2015-04-01

    The Onsala Space Observatory on the Swedish west coast is the fundamental geodetic station of Sweden and operates several geodetic and geophysical infrastructures that contribute to the GGOS. Onsala is the European observatory with the longest history in Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). Already 1968 Onsala was involved in geodetic/astrometric VLBI observations, at that time with the 25 m telescope. Since 1979 the 20 m telescope is used for geodetic/astrometric VLBI, and currently about 40-50 sessions per year are observed in the programs of the International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry (IVS). Onsala also participated in all continuous (CONT) campaigns of the IVS. In 2011 we received funding for twin telescopes at Onsala, to be part of the VLBI2010 Global Observing System (VGOS) network. The project has been delayed due to difficulties to get the necessary building permits, but finally a contract to purchase the new telescopes has been signed in late 2014. We expect that the Onsala Twin Telescopes will become operational in 2016/2017. In parallel to the VLBI activities, the observatory operates other instrumentation for geosciences, in particular receivers for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), and ground-based microwave radiometers. There are several monuments used for GNSS measurements, and Onsala is actively contributing to the International GNSS Service (IGS). Recently a GNSS array consisting of six new GNSS monuments, in the area around the Onsala Twin Telescopes, has been installed. Also several microwave radiometers are operated for tropospheric measurements. A superconducting gravimeter is operated at the observatory since 2009 in a dedicated gravity laboratory which is also hosting visiting absolute gravimeters, and in 2011 a seismometer station has been installed that is part of the Swedish National Seismic Network (SNSN). Since 2010 we operate a so-called GNSS-R tide gauge, based on the principle of reflectometry. Additional

  9. Viewing the Universe with Infrared Eyes: The Spitzer Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazio, Giovanni G.; Spitzer Science Center

    2016-01-01

    The Spitzer Space Telescope, launched on 2003 August 25, continues to produce new and exciting views of the Universe as seen in infrared light. Spitzer is the fourth and final space telescope in NASA's Great Observatory series. Originally it consisted of a liquid-helium-cooled 85-cm telescope and three imaging and spectroscopic instruments capable of observing infrared light (3-160 micron wavelength) from regions of space invisible to optical telescopes. In mid-2009 Spitzer's cryogen was exhausted, leaving the observatory with two operating imaging arrays at 3.6 and 4.5 micron wavelength. "Warm" Spitzer, as it is now called, continues to match the sensitivity achieved at these wavelengths during the cryogenic mission and remains very much in demand. The Spitzer Space Telescope has changed our view of the Universe. Spitzer's scientific results include the study of the formation and evolution of galaxies in the early Universe, star formation and evolution, exoplanets, the structure and evolution of planetary disks around nearby stars, the cosmic distance scale, clusters of galaxies, near-Earth asteroids, and comets. After a brief description of the Spitzer mission, achievements of Spitzer's extragalactic and galactic observational programs will be presented, including many of Spitzer's very spectacular images.

  10. Development of Short Wavelength Infrared Array Detectors for Space Astronomy Application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fazio, Giovanni G.

    1997-01-01

    The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and its team - the University of Arizona (UA), the University of Rochester (UR), Santa Barbara Research Center (SBRC), Ames Research Center (ARC), and Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) - are carrying out a research program with the goal of developing and optimizing infrared arrays in the 2-27 micron range for space infrared astronomy. This report summarizes research results for the entire grant period 1 January 1992 through 30 June 1996.

  11. Space Surveillance Observations at the AIUB Zimmerwald Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herzog, J.; Schildknecht, T.; Hinze, A.; Ploner, M.; Vananti, A.

    2013-08-01

    At the Zimmerwald observatory optical observations of artificial space objects are performed with the 1m Laser and Astrometry Telescope, ZIMLAT, and the Small Robotic Telescope, ZimSMART. While ZIMLAT is used for follow-up observations of small-size space debris objects to maintain their orbits and determine physical characteristics, the main objective of ZimSMART is to perform systematic surveys of high-altitude orbit regions, in particular of the geostationary ring (GEO). The goal of these observations is to build-up and maintain orbit catalogues of objects in high-altitude orbits, including a catalogue of small-size debris with high area-to-mass ratios. Orbits from these catalogues are used to routinely track and characterize space debris with ZIMLAT, e. g. by means of light curve measurements. One essential task of the space debris research is to find and understand the sources of debris, which in turn will enable to devise efficient mitigation measures - a prerequisite for the sustainable use of outer space. This paper will present the individual campaigns to detect, observe and characterise space debris objects. We will focus on survey observations of the Geostationary Ring and the MEO region performed by ZimSMART, and follow-up as well as light curve observations by ZIMLAT.

  12. Launch and Commissioning of the Deep Space Climate Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, Nicholas P.; Davis, Edward P.

    2016-01-01

    The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), formerly known as Triana, successfully launched on February 11th, 2015. To date, each of the five space-craft attitude control system (ACS) modes have been operating as expected and meeting all guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) requirements, although since launch, several anomalies were encountered. While unplanned, these anomalies have proven to be invaluable in developing a deeper understanding of the ACS, and drove the design of three alterations to the ACS task of the flight software (FSW). An overview of the GN&C subsystem hardware, including re-furbishment, and ACS architecture are introduced, followed by a chronological discussion of key events, flight performance, as well as anomalies encountered by the GN&C team.

  13. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) science rationale

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Jacqueline A.; Erickson, Edwin F.

    1989-01-01

    SOFIA, a proposed 3-meter class telescope in a Boeing 747 aircraft, would have the ability to make astronomical observations over a wavelength range from 0.3 microns to 1.6mm. Relative to the KAO (Kuiper Airborne Observatory) the larger telescope on SOFIA would provide a factor of 10 improvement in sensitivity for compact sources and a factor of 3 improvement in (diffraction-limited) angular resolution at wavelengths beyond 30 microns. In addition, SOFIA will retain the major features of the KAO which have made the airborne astronomy program so successful. Among these are continuous in-flight access to focal plane instruments while flying at or above 41,000 ft altitude; pointing stability of 0.2 arcseconds; and mobility and scheduling flexibility to accommodate targets of opportunity such as comets, eclipses, occultations, and novae.

  14. Briefings Set for Launch of Next "Great Observatory" in Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-06-01

    NASA's next Space Shuttle flight will provide astronomers with a new look at the universe and make history with NASA's first female mission commander. Reporters can get an overview of the mission at a series of briefings July 7. The briefings will begin at 9 a.m. EDT at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The five-day flight is scheduled for launch no earlier than July 20. STS-93 will be led by U.S. Air Force Colonel Eileen Collins, the first woman to command an American space mission. The flight's primary objective will be to deploy the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the third of NASA's Great Observatories. Collins and her crew of four will carry Chandra, the heaviest payload ever deployed from the shuttle, into orbit and deploy it approximately seven hours after launch. An upper stage will carry the observatory to its final orbit, more than one-third of the way to the Moon. Chandra will allow scientists to obtain unprecedented X-ray images of exploding stars, black holes and other exotic environments to help them understand the structure and evolution of the universe. The first two briefings will provide an overview of mission operations and science to be conducted by Chandra. The NASA Television Video File will follow at noon. The crew press conference will begin at 2 p.m. EDT. The briefings will be carried live on NASA Television, with question-and-answer capability for reporters covering the event from participating NASA centers. NASA Television is available on transponder 9C of the GE-2 satellite at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, frequency 3880 MHz, audio of 6.8 MHz. Media planning to attend the briefings must notify the Johnson Space Center newsroom by June 28 to ensure proper badging. Each reporter's name, affiliation and country of citizenship should be faxed to the newsroom at 281/483-2000. IMPORTANT NOTE: Reporters can schedule in-person or telephone interviews STS-93 crew. These interviews will begin at about 3:15 p.m. EDT. Media

  15. 20-micron transparency and atmospheric water vapor at the Wyoming Infrared Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grasdalen, G. L.; Gehrz, R. D.; Hackwell, J. A.; Freedman, R.

    1985-01-01

    The atmospheric transparency at 19.5 and 23 microns from the Wyoming Infrared Observatory over the past six years has been examined. It is found that the transparency is largely controlled by the season. Four months: June, July, August, and September have very poor 20-micron transparency. During the rest of the year the transparency is usually quite good at 19.5 microns and moderately good at 23 microns. Using rawinsonde data and theoretical calculations for the expected infrared transparency, the measures of 20-micron transparency were calibrated in terms of atmospheric water-vapor content. The water vapor over the Wyoming Infrared Observatory is found to compare favorably with that above other proposed or developed sites: Mauna Kea, Mount Graham, and Wheeler Peak.

  16. Footprint Database and web services for the Herschel space observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verebélyi, Erika; Dobos, László; Kiss, Csaba

    2015-08-01

    Using all telemetry and observational meta-data, we created a searchable database of Herschel observation footprints. Data from the Herschel space observatory is freely available for everyone but no uniformly processed catalog of all observations has been published yet. As a first step, we unified the data model for all three Herschel instruments in all observation modes and compiled a database of sky coverage information. As opposed to methods using a pixellation of the sphere, in our database, sky coverage is stored in exact geometric form allowing for precise area calculations. Indexing of the footprints allows for very fast search among observations based on pointing, time, sky coverage overlap and meta-data. This enables us, for example, to find moving objects easily in Herschel fields. The database is accessible via a web site and also as a set of REST web service functions which makes it usable from program clients like Python or IDL scripts. Data is available in various formats including Virtual Observatory standards.

  17. Monitoring CO2 sources and sinks from space : the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crisp, David

    2006-01-01

    NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) will make the first space-based measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) with the precision, resolution, and coverage needed to characterize the geographic distribution of CO2 sources and sinks and quantify their variability over the seasonal cycle. OCO is currently scheduled for launch in 2008. The observatory will carry a single instrument that incorporates three high-resolution grating spectrometers designed to measure the near-infrared absorption by CO2 and molecular oxygen (O2) in reflected sunlight. OCO will fly 12 minutes ahead of the EOS Aqua platform in the Earth Observing System (EOS) Afternoon Constellation (A-Train). The in-strument will collect 12 to 24 soundings per second as the Observatory moves along its orbit track on the day side of the Earth. A small sampling footprint (<3 km2 at nadir) was adopted to reduce biases in each sounding associated with clouds and aerosols and spatial variations in surface topography. A comprehensive ground-based validation program will be used to assess random errors and biases in the XCO2 product on regional to continental scales. Measurements collected by OCO will be assimilated with other environmental measurements to retrieve surface sources and sinks of CO2. This information could play an important role in monitoring the integrity of large scale CO2 sequestration projects.

  18. Calibration and first light of the Diabolo photometer at the Millimetre and Infrared Testa Grigia Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benoit, A.; Zagury, F.; Coron, N.; De Petris, M.; Désert, F.-X.; Giard, M.; Bernard, J.-P.; Crussaire, J.-P.; Dambier, G.; de Bernardis, P.; Delabrouille, J.; De Luca, A.; de Marcillac, P.; Jegoudez, G.; Lamarre, J.-M.; Leblanc, J.; Lepeltier, J.-P.; Leriche, B.; Mainella, G.; Narbonne, J.; Pajot, F.; Pons, R.; Puget, J.-L.; Pujol, S.; Recouvreur, G.; Serra, G.; Soglasnova, V.; Torre, J.-P.; Vozzi, B.

    2000-02-01

    We have designed and built a large-throughput dual channel photometer, Diabolo. This photometer is dedicated to the observation of millimetre continuum diffuse sources, and in particular, of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect and of anisotropies of the 3 K background. We describe the optical layout and filtering system of the instrument, which uses two bolometric detectors for simultaneous observations in two frequency channels at 1.2 and 2.1 mm. The bolometers are cooled to a working temperature of 0.1 K provided by a compact dilution cryostat. The photometric and angular responses of the instrument are measured in the laboratory. First astronomical light was detected in March 1995 at the focus of the new Millimetre and Infrared Testa Grigia Observatory (MITO) Telescope. The established sensitivity of the system is of 7 mKRJ\\ s1/2. For a typical map of at least 10 beams, with one hour of integration per beam, one can achieve the rms values of y_SZ =~ 7\\ 10-5 and the 3 K background anisotropy {Delta T/ T} =~ 7\\ 10-5, in winter conditions. We also report on a novel bolometer AC readout circuit which allows for the first time total power measurements on the sky. This technique alleviates (but does not forbid) the use of chopping with a secondary mirror. This technique and the dilution fridge concept will be used in future scan-modulated space instrument like the ESA Planck mission project.

  19. Infrared spectral measurement of space shuttle glow

    SciTech Connect

    Ahmadijian, M.

    1992-01-01

    Infrared spectral measurements of the space shuttle glow were successfully conducted during the STS-39 space shuttle mission. Analysis indicates that NO, NO[sup +], OH, and CO are among the molecules associated with the infrared glow phenomenon. During orbiter thruster firings the glow intensities in the infrared are enhanced by factors of 10x to 100x with significant changes in spectral distribution. These measurements were obtained with the Spacecraft Kinetic Infrared Test (SKIRT) payload which included a cryogenic infrared circular variable filter (CVF) spectrometer (0.6 [mu]m to 5.4 [mu]) and a number of infrared, visible, and ultraviolet radiometers (0.2 [mu]m to 5.4 [mu]m and 9.9 [mu]m to 10.4 [mu]m). In addition, glow measurements were unsuccessfully attempted with the Cryogenic Infrared Radiance Instrumentation for Shuttle (CIRRIS-1A) with its 2.5 [mu]m to 25 [mu]m Fourier transform interferometer. SKIRT CVF obtained over 14,000 spectra of quiescent shuttle glow, thruster enhanced shuttle glow, upper atmosphere airglow, aurora, orbiter environment, and deep space non-glow backgrounds during its eight day mission. The SKIRT radiometers operated almost continuously throughout the mission to provide a detailed history of the IR/VIS/UV optical environment associated with the operation of large spacecraft structures in low earth orbit. This dissertation will primarily address those measurements conducted by the SKIRT spectrometer as they relate to space shuttle glow in the infrared. The STS-39 Space Shuttle Discovery was launched from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on 28 April 1991 into a 57 degree inclination circular orbit at an altitude of 260 km.

  20. Architectures for a Space-based Gravitational-Wave Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stebbins, Robin

    2015-04-01

    The European Space Agency (ESA) selected the science theme, the ``Gravitational Universe,'' for the third large mission opportunity, known as L3, under its Cosmic Vision Programme. The planned launch date is 2034. ESA is considering a 20% participation by an international partner, and NASA's Astrophysics Division has begun negotiating a NASA role. We have studied the design consequences of a NASA contribution, evaluated the science benefits and identified the technology requirements for hardware that could be delivered by NASA. The European community proposed a strawman mission concept, called eLISA, having two measurement arms, derived from the well studied LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) concept. The US community is promoting a mission concept known as SGO Mid (Space-based Gravitational-wave Observatory Mid-sized), a three arm LISA-like concept. If NASA were to partner with ESA, the eLISA concept could be transformed to SGO Mid by the addition of a third arm, thereby augmenting science, reducing risk and reducing non-recurring engineering costs. The characteristics of the mission concepts and the relative science performance of eLISA, SGO Mid and LISA are described.

  1. Prototype Secondary Mirror Assembly For The Space Infrared Telescope Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stier, M.; Duffy, M.; Gullapalli, S.; Rockwell, R.; Sileo, F.; Krim, M.

    1988-04-01

    We describe our concept for a liquid helium temperature prototype secondary mirror assembly (PSMA) for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility. SIRTF, a NASA "Great Observatory" to be launched in the 1990's, is a superfluid heliumcooled 1-meter class telescope with much more stringent performance requirements than its precursor the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). The SIRTF secondary mirror assembly must operate near 4 K and provide the functions of 2-axis dynamic tilting ("chopping") in addition to the conventional functions of focus and centering. The PSMA must be able to withstand random vibration testing and provide all of the functions needed by the SIRTF observatory. Our PSMA concept employs a fused quartz mirror kinematically attached at its center to an aluminum cruciform. The mirror/cruciform assembly is driven in tilt about its combined center of mass using a unique flexure pivot and a four-actuator control system with feed-back provided by pairs of eddy current position sensors. The actuators are mounted on a second flexure-pivoted mass providing angular momentum compensation and isolating the telescope from vibration-induced disturbances. The mirror/cruciform and the reaction mass are attached to opposite sides of an aluminum mounting plate whose AL/L characteristics are nominally identical to that of the aluminum flexure pivot material. The mounting plate is connected to the outer housing by a focus and centering mechanism based upon the six degree of freedom secondary mirror assembly developed for the Hubble Space Telescope.

  2. The Infrared Telescope in Space (IRTS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murakami, H.; Bock, J.; Freund, M. M.; Guo, H.; Hirao, T.; Lange, A. E.; Matsuhara, H.; Matsumoto, T.; Matsuura, S.; Mcmahon, T. J.

    1994-01-01

    The Infrared Telescope in Space (IRTS) is a cryogenically cooled small infrared telescope that will fly aboard the small space platform Space Flyer Unit. It will survey approximately 10% of the sky with a relatively wide beam during its 20 day emission. Four focal-plane instruments will make simultaneous observations of the sky at wavelengths ranging from 1 to 1000 microns. The IRTS will provide significant information on cosmology, interstellar matter, late-type stars, and interplanetary dust. This paper describes the instrumentation and mission.

  3. The development of infrared detectors and mechanisms for use in future infrared space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houck, James R.

    1995-01-01

    The environment above earth's atmosphere offers significant advantages in sensitivity and wavelength coverage in infrared astronomy over ground-based observatories. In support of future infrared space missions, technology development efforts were undertaken to develop detectors sensitive to radiation between 2.5 micron and 200 micron. Additionally, work was undertaken to develop mechanisms supporting the imaging and spectroscopy requirements of infrared space missions. Arsenic-doped-Silicon and Antimony-doped-Silicon Blocked Impurity Band detectors, responsive to radiation between 4 micron and 45 micron, were produced in 128x128 picture element arrays with the low noise, high sensitivity performance needed for space environments. Technology development continued on Gallium-doped-Germanium detectors (for use between 80 micron and 200 micron), but were hampered by contamination during manufacture. Antimony-doped-Indium detectors (for use between 2.5 micron and 5 micron) were developed in a 256x256 pixel format with high responsive quantum efficiency and low dark current. Work began on adapting an existing cryogenic mechanism design for space-based missions; then was redirected towards an all-fixed optical design to improve reliability and lower projected mission costs.

  4. Probing the interstellar medium in early-type galaxies with Infrared Space Oberservatory observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malhotra, S.; Hollenbach, D.; Helou, D.; Silbermann, N.; Valjavec, E.; Rubin, R.; Dale, D.; Hunter, D.; Lu, N.; Lord, S.; Dinerstein, H.; Thronson, H.

    2000-01-01

    Four IRAS-detected early-type galaxies were observed with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). With the exception of the 15 mu m image of NGC 1052, the mid-IR images of NGC 1052, NGC 1155, NGC 5866, and NGC 6958 at 4.5, 7, and 15 mu m show extended emission.

  5. Space Weathering Investigations Enabled by NASA's Virtual Heliophysical Observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, John F.; King, Joseph H.; Papitashvili, Natalia E.; Lal, Nand; Sittler, Edward C.; Sturner, Steven J.; Hills, Howard K.; Lipatov, Alexander S.; Kovalick, Tamara J.; Johnson, Rita C.; McGuire, Robert E.; Narock, Thomas W.; Szabo, Adam; Armstrong, Thomas P.; Manweiler, Jerry W.; Patterson, J. Douglas; McKibben, Robert B.

    2012-01-01

    Structural and chemical impact of the heliospheric space environment on exposed planetary surfaces and interplanetary dust grains may be generally defined as space weathering . In the inner solar system, from the asteroid belt inwards towards the Sun, the surface regolith structures of airless bodies are primarily determined by cumulative meteoritic impacts over billions of years, but the molecular composition to meters in depth can be substantially modified by irradiation effects. Plasma ions at eV to keV energies may both erode uppermost surfaces by sputtering, and implant or locally produce exogenic material, e.g. He-3 and H2O, while more energetic ions drive molecular change through electronic ionization. Galactic cosmic ray ions and more energetic solar ions can impact chemistry to meters in depth. High energy cosmic ray interactions produce showers of secondary particles and energetic photons that present hazards for robotic and human exploration missions but also enable detection of potentially useable resources such as water ice, oxygen, and many other elements. Surface sputtering also makes ejected elemental and molecular species accessible for in-situ compositional analysis by spacecraft with ion and neutral mass spectrometers. Modeling of relative impacts for these various space weathering processes requires knowledge of the incident species-resolved ion flux spectra at plasma to cosmic ray energies and as integrated over varying time scales. Although the main drivers for investigations of these processes come from NASA's planetary science and human exploration programs, the NASA heliophysics program provides the requisite data measurement and modeling resources to enable specification of the field & plasma and energetic particle irradiation environments for application to space weather and surface weathering investigations. The Virtual Heliospheric Observatory (VHO), Virtual Energetic Particle Observatory (VEPO), Lunar Solar Origins Exploration (Luna

  6. Potential of a Future Large Aperture UVOIR Space Observatory for Breakthrough Observations of Star and Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danchi, William C.; Grady, Carol A.; Padgett, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    A future large aperture space observatory operating from the UV to the near-infrared with a diameter between 10 and 15 meters will provide a unique opportunity for observations of star and planet formation, from nearby moving groups and associations to star formation in galaxies in the local universe. Our newly formed working group will examine the unique opportunities that such a telescope will give observers in a post-JWST/WFIRST-AFTA era that includes extremely large ground-based observatories such as the TMT, E-ELT, ALMA, and the VLTI. Given a potential suite of instruments for this observatory we will discuss some of the key areas of star and planet formation science where breakthroughs might occur.

  7. Heterodyne Receiver Requirements for the Single Aperture Far-Infrared (SAFIR) Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benford, Dominic J.; Kooi, Jacob; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    In the next few years, work will commence in earnest on the development of technology for the next generation large cryogenic far-infrared telescope: the Single Aperture Far- Infrared (SAFIR) Observatory. SAFIR's science goals are driven by the fact that youngest stages of almost all phenomena in the universe are shrouded in absorption by cool dust, resulting in the energy being emitted primarily in the far-infrared. The earliest stages of star formation, when gas and dust clouds are collapsing and planets forming, can only be observed in the far-infrared. Spectral diagnostics in the far-infrared are typically quite narrow (approx. 1 km/s) and require high sensitivity to detect them. SAFIR is a 10 m-class telescope designed for cryogenic operation at L2, removing all sources of thermal emission from the telescope and atmosphere. Despite its limited collecting area and angular resolution as compared to the ALMA interferometer, its potential for covering the entire far-infrared band cannot be matched by any ground-based or airborne observatory. This places a new challenge on heterodyne receivers: broad frequency coverage. The ideal mixer would be able to detect frequencies over several octaves (e.g., 0.6 THz - 12 THz) with near quantum-limited performance at all frequencies. In contrast to ground-based observatories, it may not be necessary to strive for high instantaneous bandwidth, as direct detection spectroscopy is preferable for bandwidths of Delta v/ v greater than or equal to 10(exp -4) (e.g., 1 GHz at 10 THz). We consider likely directions for technology development for heterodyne receivers for SAFIR.

  8. Swift: a Multi-frequency Rapid Response Space Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swift Team

    2006-01-01

    Swift is a rapid-response, multi-wavelength space observatory dedicated to gamma-ray burst astronomy. The mission, an international collaboration between USA, Italy and UK, is scheduled for launch in October 2004. Swift will carry on-board a wide-field coded-mask gamma-ray camera, a X-ray telescope and a UV-Optical telescope, providing wide and narrow field-of-view instruments capability. The gamma ray camera is expected to detect and image ≈100 150 GRBs per year with a few arcminutes position accuracy. Following a GRB detection the Swift spacecraft will autonomously point its narrow-field telescopes towards the sources within 20-70 seconds to determine arcsec and subarcsec positions accuracy together with detailed spectral and timing information. The accurate positions will be quickly transmitted to the ground thus enabling the timely use of the most advanced ground- and space-based telescopes to gather high quality spectra during the early, brightest phases of the afterglow.

  9. Exploring New Spectral Windows with the Herschel Space Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergin, Edwin A.

    2011-10-01

    The Herschel Space Observatory, an ESA cornerstone mission with NASA participation, has been in operation for over a year. I will briefly outline the overall capabilities of Herschel which has both photometric and spectroscopic coverage from 63 to 610 microns. Herschel offers unprecedented sensitivity as well as continuous spectral coverage across the gaps imposed by the atmosphere, opening up a largely unexplored wavelength regime to high resolution spectroscopy. In particular, I will present and discuss the most complete molecular spectrum of star-forming gas ever obtained in the spectrum of Orion KL and the galactic center molecular cloud Sagittarius B2. These spectra have over 1.4 THz of bandwidth and a resolution of 1 MHz. We estimate that there are over 100,000 spectral lines alone in the Orion KL spectrum with numerous lines of water vapor, ammonia, sulfur-bearing molecules, and numerous organics. I will demonstrate the power of molecular spectroscopy in characterizing the physical state of dense gas near massive stars through the perspective offered by observations of hundreds of lines of a single molecule and our new ability to peer through the Milky Way to reveal a hidden molecular phase. I will show how the spectra provide a near complete chemical assay and cooling census of star-forming gas. Ultimately the gains from Herschel have tremendous potential to extend our understanding of the physics of star birth and feedback while informing on the origin of water and organics in space.

  10. Possible Space-Based Gravitational-Wave Observatory Mission Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livas, Jeffrey C.

    2015-08-01

    The existence of gravitational waves was established by the discovery of the Binary Pulsar PSR 1913+16 by Hulse and Taylor in 1974, for which they were awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize. However, it is the exploitation of these gravitational waves for the extraction of the astrophysical parameters of the sources that will open the first new astronomical window since the development of gamma ray telescopes in the 1970’s and enable a new era of discovery and understanding of the Universe. Direct detection is expected in at least two frequency bands from the ground before the end of the decade with Advanced LIGO and Pulsar Timing Arrays. However, many of the most exciting sources will be continuously observable in the band from 0.1-100 mHz, accessible only from space due to seismic noise and gravity gradients in that band that disturb ground-based observatories. This talk will discuss a possible mission concept developed from the original Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) reference mission but updated to reduce risk and cost.

  11. A Future Large-Aperture UVOIR Space Observatory: Study Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Postman, Marc; Thronson, Harley A.; Feinberg, Lee; Redding, David; Stahl, H. Philip

    2015-01-01

    The scientific drivers for very high angular resolution coupled with very high sensitivity and wavefront stability in the UV and optical wavelength regime have been well established. These include characterization of exoplanets in the habitable zones of solar type stars, probing the physical properties of the circumgalactic medium around z < 2 galaxies, and resolving stellar populations across a broad range of galactic environments. The 2010 NRC Decadal Survey and the 2013 NASA Science Mission Directorate 30-Year Roadmap identified a large-aperture UVOIR observatory as a priority future space mission. Our joint NASA GSFC/JPL/MSFC/STScI team has extended several earlier studies of the technology and engineering requirements needed to design and build a single filled aperture 10-meter class space-based telescope that can enable these ambitious scientific observations. We present here an overview of our new technical work including a brief summary of the reference science drivers as well as in-depth investigations of the viable telescope architectures, the requirements on thermal control and active wavefront control systems, and the range of possible launch configurations.

  12. Possible Space-Based Gravitational-Wave Observatory Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livas, Jeffrey C.

    2015-01-01

    The existence of gravitational waves was established by the discovery of the Binary Pulsar PSR 1913+16 by Hulse and Taylor in 1974, for which they were awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize. However, it is the exploitation of these gravitational waves for the extraction of the astrophysical parameters of the sources that will open the first new astronomical window since the development of gamma ray telescopes in the 1970's and enable a new era of discovery and understanding of the Universe. Direct detection is expected in at least two frequency bands from the ground before the end of the decade with Advanced LIGO and Pulsar Timing Arrays. However, many of the most exciting sources will be continuously observable in the band from 0.1-100 mHz, accessible only from space due to seismic noise and gravity gradients in that band that disturb groundbased observatories. This talk will discuss a possible mission concept developed from the original Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) reference mission but updated to reduce risk and cost.

  13. Far-Infrared Polarimetry of Galactic Clouds from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dotson, Jessie L.; Davidson, Jacqueline; Dowell, C. Darren; Schleuning, David A.; Hildebrand, Roger H.

    1999-01-01

    In this paper we present a complete summary of the data obtained with the far-infrared polarimeter, Stokes, in flights of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. We have observed 12 Galactic clouds and have made over 1100 individual measurements at 100 micrometer and 60 micrometer. The median P for all of the 60 micrometer and 100 micrometer measurements is 3.6% and 2.6% respectively. We also present flux maps obtained simultaneously with the polarimetry.

  14. Infrared monitoring of the Space Station environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kostiuk, Theodor; Jennings, Donald E.; Mumma, Michael J.

    1988-01-01

    The measurement and monitoring of infrared emission in the environment of the Space Station has a twofold importance - for the study of the phenomena itself and as an aid in planning and interpreting Station based infrared experiments. Spectral measurements of the infrared component of the spacecraft glow will, along with measurements in other spectral regions, provide data necessary to fully understand and model the physical and chemical processes producing these emissions. The monitoring of the intensity of these emissions will provide background limits for Space Station based infrared experiments and permit the determination of optimum instrument placement and pointing direction. Continuous monitoring of temporal changes in the background radiation (glow) will also permit better interpretation of Station-based infrared earth sensing and astronomical observations. The primary processes producing infrared emissions in the Space Station environment are: (1) Gas phase excitations of Station generated molecules ( e.g., CO2, H2O, organics...) by collisions with the ambient flux of mainly O and N2. Molecular excitations and generation of new species by collisions of ambient molecules with Station surfaces. They provide a list of resulting species, transition energies, excitation cross sections and relevant time constants. The modeled spectrum of the excited species occurs primarily at wavelengths shorter than 8 micrometer. Emissions at longer wavelengths may become important during rocket firing or in the presence of dust.

  15. An infrared zoom for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fonti, S.; Solazzo, S.; Blanco, A.; Orofino, V.

    2000-04-01

    In this paper we present the basic concept of an instrument with variable input optics, which takes into account the severe constraints imposed by space applications. Up to now such kind of device has never been proposed for any of the major space infrared instruments. In the infrared spectral region, in fact, the use of lenses can severely affect the efficiency of the system and variable optics, using only mirrors, should be the baseline option. In order to show the possible applications of this optical device we describe in some detail the implementation of two different designs of optical zoom on two infrared instruments having different conceptions and objectives, namely a Fourier non-imaging spectrometer and a grating imaging spectrometer. The use of this instrument in many space experiments could have several interesting applications.

  16. The Infrared Telescope in Space Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roellig, Thomas L.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The NASA/Japanese Space Agency Infrared Telescope in Space (IRTS) mission was one of seven experiments on the first Space Flyer Unit (SFU-1). This satellite was launched on a Japanese H-2 expendable launch vehicle from Tanegashima Space Center on March 18, 1995 and was retrieved by the NASA space shuttle the following January for refurbishment and reuse. The IRTS itself consisted of a super-fluid liquid helium-cooled telescope with four infrared focal plane science instruments that operated simultaneously. During its one-month lifetime before the liquid helium was exhausted the IRTS mapped 7% of the sky. These data are now being released to the general astronomical community through IPAC at the California Institute of Technology.

  17. Laboratory Astrophysics Needs of the Herschel Space Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearson, J. C.

    2002-01-01

    The science teams of the Herschel Space Observatory have identified a number of areas where laboratory study is required for proper interpretation of Herschel observational data. The most critical is the collection and compilation of laboratory data on spectral line frequencies, transition probabilities and energy levels for the known astrophysical atomic and molecular species in 670 to 57 micron wavelength range of Herschel. The second most critical need is the compilation of collisional excitation cross sections for the species known to dominate the energy balance in the ISM and the temperature dependent chemical reaction rates. On the theoretical front, chemical and radiative transfer models need to be prepared in advance to assess calibration and identify instrument anomalies. In the next few years there will be a need to incorporate spectroscopists and theoretical chemists into teams of astronomers so that the spectroscopic surveys planned can he properly calibrated and rapidly interpreted once the data becomes available. The science teams have also noted that the enormous prospects for molecular discovery will be greatly handicapped by the nearly complete lack of spectroscopic data for anything not already well known in the ISM. As a minimum, molecular species predicted to exist by chemical models should be subjected to detailed laboratory study to ensure conclusive detections. This has the greatest impact on any astrobiology program that might be proposed for Herschel. Without a significant amount of laboratory work in the very near future Herschel will not be prepared for many planned observations, much less addressing the open questions in molecular astrophysics.

  18. Laboratory Astrophysics Needs of the Herschel Space Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, J. C.

    2002-11-01

    The science teams of the Herschel Space Observatory have identified a number of areas for laboratory study required for proper interpretation of Herschel observational data. The most critical is the collection and compilation of laboratory data on spectral line frequencies, transition probabilities and energy levels for the known astrophysical atomic and molecular species in 670 to 57 micron wavelength range of Herschel. The second most critical need is the compilation of collisional excitation cross sections for the species known to dominate the energy balance in the ISM and the temperature dependent chemical reaction rates. On the theoretical front chemical and radiative transfer models need to be prepared in advance to assess calibration and identify instrument anomalies. In the next few years there will be a need to incorporate spectroscopists and theoretical chemists into teams of astronomers so that the spectroscopic surveys planned can be properly calibrated and rapidly interpreted once the data becomes available. The science teams have also noted that the enormous prospects for molecular discovery will be greatly handicapped by the nearly complete lack of spectroscopic data for anything not already well known in the ISM. As a minimum, molecular species predicted to exist by chemical models should be subjected to detailed laboratory study to ensure conclusive detections. This has the greatest impact on any astrobiology program that might be proposed for Herschel. Without a significant amount of laboratory work in the very near future Herschel will not be prepared for many planned observations, much less addressing the open questions in molecular astrophysics.

  19. Space-Borne Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, Andrew E.

    1997-01-01

    The objective of this grant is to develop the Far IR Photometer (FIRP), one of four focal plane instruments on the IR Telescope in Space (IRTS). The IRTS was successfully launched in March 18, 1995 aboard the Japanese SFU platform. It surveyed the IR sky for approximately 40 days, and was eventually retrieved by NASA's STS. The FIRP succeeded in surveying approximately 5% of the sky in four bands centered at 150, 250, 400 and 700 microns. Several new technologies were developed using the funds from this grant, including: (1) a high performance gas-gap heat-switch, (2) a He-3 sorption refrigerator that is, to date, the only refrigerator to achieve sub-Kelvin temperatures in orbit, (3) high-sensitivity bolometric detectors with NEP less than 10-16 W(Hz(exp l/2)exp 1/2) when operated from a 300 mK heat sink, (4) readout electronics capable of providing DC stability for the bolometric detectors. Excess noise of unknown origin significantly reduced the sensitivity of the FIRP on orbit. Nevertheless, scientifically significant observations of the spectrum and temperature of the interstellar dust were made, and have been reported.

  20. Space Infrared (SIRE) Operations Concept For Shuttle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, Daniel H.

    1981-04-01

    The objective of the Space Infrared (SIRE) Sensor program is to measure LWIR radiation of natural and man made sources in space. Measurements will be used to support development and operation of space based space surveillance systems. This paper describes the planned concept for operating SIRE as a non-deployed payload within the payload bay of the Orbiter. The operations concept is prefaced with an overview of the SIRE system addressing the sensor, space segment, ground segment and supporting elements of the Space Transportation System. This is followed by a description of operational concepts and data processing that will be used within the ground segment during flights to plan, command and evaluate SIRE operations. This responsive system provides for inflight evaluation of data and replanning of measurements as necessary to accomodate operational perturbations from the Orbiter and react to unexpected measurement results.

  1. The Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leisawitz, David T.

    2014-01-01

    The far-infrared astrophysics community is eager to follow up Spitzer and Herschel observations with sensitive, high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy, for such measurements are needed to understand merger-driven star formation and chemical enrichment in galaxies, star and planetary system formation, and the development and prevalence of water-bearing planets. The Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT) is a wide field-of-view space-based spatio-spectral interferometer designed to operate in the 25 to 400 micron wavelength range. This talk will summarize the SPIRIT mission concept, with a focus on the science that motivates it and the technology that enables it. Without mentioning SPIRIT by name, the astrophysics community through the NASA Astrophysics Roadmap Committee recently recommended this mission as the first in a series of space-based interferometers. Data from a laboratory testbed interferometer will be used to illustrate how the spatio-spectral interferometry technique works.

  2. NASA Space Observatories Glimpse Faint Afterglow of Nearby Stellar Explosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-10-01

    Intricate wisps of glowing gas float amid a myriad of stars in this image created by combining data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory. The gas is a supernova remnant, cataloged as N132D, ejected from the explosion of a massive star that occurred some 3,000 years ago. This titanic explosion took place in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby neighbor galaxy of our own Milky Way. The complex structure of N132D is due to the expanding supersonic shock wave from the explosion impacting the interstellar gas of the LMC. Deep within the remnant, the Hubble visible light image reveals a crescent-shaped cloud of pink emission from hydrogen gas, and soft purple wisps that correspond to regions of glowing oxygen emission. A dense background of colorful stars in the LMC is also shown in the Hubble image. The large horseshoe-shaped gas cloud on the left-hand side of the remnant is glowing in X-rays, as imaged by Chandra. In order to emit X-rays, the gas must have been heated to a temperature of about 18 million degrees Fahrenheit (10 million degrees Celsius). A supernova-generated shock wave traveling at a velocity of more than four million miles per hour (2,000 kilometers per second) is continuing to propagate through the low-density medium today. The shock front where the material from the supernova collides with ambient interstellar material in the LMC is responsible for these high temperatures. Chandra image of N132D Chandra image of N132D, 2002 It is estimated that the star that exploded as a supernova to produce the N132D remnant was 10 to 15 times more massive than our own Sun. As fast-moving ejecta from the explosion slam into the cool, dense interstellar clouds in the LMC, complex shock fronts are created. A supernova remnant like N132D provides a rare opportunity for direct observation of stellar material, because it is made of gas that was recently hidden deep inside a star. Thus it provides information on stellar evolution and the

  3. World Space Observatory-UltraViolet: International Space Mission for the Nearest Future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sachkov, M.; Gómez de Castro, A. I.; Pagano, I.; Torres, F.; Zaiko, Y.; Shustov, B.

    2009-03-01

    The World Space Observatory UltraViolet (WSO-UV) project is an international space observatory designed for observations in the ultraviolet domain where some of the most important astrophysical processes can be efficiently studied with unprecedented sensitivity. WSO-UV is a multipurpose observatory, consisting of a 170 cm aperture telescope, capable of high-resolution spectroscopy, long slit low-resolution spectroscopy, and deep UV and optical imaging. With a nominal mission life time of 5 years, and a planned extension to 10 years, from a geosynchronous orbit with an inclination of 51.8 degrees, the WSO-UV will provide observations that are of exceptional importance for the study of many astrophysical problems. WSO-UV is implemented in the framework of a collaboration between Russia (chair), China, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Ukraine. This article is the first of three papers in this proceedings dedicated to the WSO-UV project This paper gives general information on the WSO-UV project and its status.

  4. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) - next step after Spitzer/Herschel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zinnecker, Hans

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a Boeing 747B fitted with a powerful 2.5m infrared telescope that operates at altitudes of 12-14km and observes light from the near-IR to the far-IR wavelength range that is blocked to reach the ground by the Earth's atmosphere (mainly due to water vapor). SOFIA is a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Agency (DLR). This new airborne Observatory started early science observations in 2010 and has recently reached full operational capability, with a suite fo currently 4 instruments (and two more to be commissioned) in Cycle 2. Scientific highlights will be presented which include mid-IR broad-band imaging and far-IR high-resolution spectroscopic results which go beyond those of Spitzer and Herschel (star formation studies and astrochemistry). SOFIA will have a projected lifetime of 20 yrs and will be the premier mid- and far-infrared facility in the post-Spitzer and post-Herschel era for many years to come.

  5. Single Crystal DMs for Space-Based Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bierden, Paul

    We propose to demonstrate the feasibility of a new manufacturing process for large aperture, high-actuator count microelectromechanical deformable mirrors (MEMS-DMs). These DMs are designed to fill a critical technology gap in NASA s plan for high- contrast space-based exoplanet observatories. We will manufacture a prototype DM with a continuous mirror facesheet, having an active aperture of 50mm diameter, supported by 2040 electrostatic actuators (50 across the diameter of the active aperture), spaced at a pitch of 1mm. The DM will be manufactured using silicon microfabrication tools. The strategic motivation for the proposed project is to advance MEMS DMs as an enabling technology in NASA s rapidly emerging program for extrasolar planet exploration. That goal is supported by an Astro2010 white paper on Technologies for Direct Optical Imaging of Exoplanets, which concluded that DMs are a critical component for all proposed internal coronagraph instrument concepts. That white paper pointed to great strides made by DM developers in the past decade, and acknowledged the components made by Boston Micromachines Corporation to be the most notable MEMS-based technology option. The principal manufacturing innovation in this project will be assembly of the DM through fusion bonding of three separate single crystal silicon wafers comprising the device s substrate, actuator array, and facesheet. The most significant challenge of this project will be to develop processes that allow reliable fusion bonds between multiple compliant silicon layers while yielding an optically flat surface and a robust electromechanical system. The compliance of the DM, which is required for its electromechanical function, will make it challenging to achieve the intimate, planar contact that is generally needed for success in fusion bonding. The manufacturing approach will use photolithography and reactive ion etching to pattern structural layers. Three wafer-scale devices will be patterned and

  6. A deployable, annular, 30m telescope, space-based observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rey, Justin J.; Wirth, Allan; Jankevics, Andrew; Landers, Franklin; Rohweller, David; Chen, C. Bill; Bronowicki, Allen

    2014-08-01

    High resolution imaging from space requires very large apertures, such as NASA's current mission the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which uses a deployable 6.5m segmented primary. Future missions requiring even larger apertures (>>10m) will present a great challenge relative to the size, weight and power constraints of launch vehicles as well as the cost and schedule required to fabricate the full aperture. Alternatively, a highly obscured annular primary can be considered. For example, a 93.3% obscured 30m aperture having the same total mirror area (91m2) as a 10.7m unobscured telescope, can achieve ~3X higher limiting resolution performance. Substantial cost and schedule savings can be realized with this approach compared to fully filled apertures of equivalent resolution. A conceptual design for a ring-shaped 30m telescope is presented and the engineering challenges of its various subsystems analyzed. The optical design consists of a 20X annular Mersenne form beam compactor feeding a classical 1.5m TMA telescope. Ray trace analysis indicates the design can achieve near diffraction limited images over a 200μrad FOV. The primary mirror consists of 70 identical rectangular 1.34x1.0m segments with a prescription well within the demonstrated capabilities of the replicated nanolaminate on SiC substrate technology developed by AOA Xinetics. A concept is presented for the deployable structure that supports the primary mirror segments. A wavefront control architecture consisting of an optical metrology subsystem for coarse alignment and an image based fine alignment and phasing subsystem is presented. The metrology subsystem is image based, using the background starfields for distortion and pointing calibration and fiducials on the segments for measurement. The fine wavefront control employs a hill climbing algorithm operating on images from the science camera. The final key technology required is the image restoration algorithm that will compensate for the highly

  7. Charting the Winds that Change the Universe, II The Single Aperture Far Infrared Observatory (SAFIR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leisawitz, David

    2003-01-01

    The Single Aperture Far Infrared Observatory (SAFIR) will study the birth and evolution of stars and planetary systems so young that they are invisible to optical and near-infrared telescopes such as NGST. Not only does the far-infrared radiation penetrate the obscuring dust clouds that surround these systems, but the protoplanetary disks also emit much of their radiation in the far infrared. Furthermore, the dust reprocesses much of the optical emission from the newly forming stars into this wavelength band. Similarly, the obscured central regions of galaxies, which harbor massive black holes and huge bursts of star formation, can be seen and analyzed in the far infrared. SAFIR will have the sensitivity to see the first dusty galaxies in the universe. For studies of both star-forming regions in our galaxy and dusty galaxies at high redshifts, SAFIR will be essential in tying together information that NGST will obtain on these systems at shorter wavelengths and that ALMA will obtain at longer wavelengths.

  8. Heterodyne Interferometry in InfraRed at OCA-Calern Observatory in the seventies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gay, J.; Rabbia, Y.

    2014-04-01

    We report on various works carried four decades ago, so as to develop Heterodyne Interferometry in InfraRed (10 μm) at Calern Observatory (OCA, France), by building an experiment, whose the acronym "SOIRDETE" means "Synthese d'Ouverture en InfraRouge par Detection hETErodyne". Scientific and technical contexts by this time are recalled, as well as basic principles of heterodyne interferometry. The preliminary works and the SOIRDETE experiment are briefly described. Short comments are given in conclusion regarding the difficulties which have prevented the full success of the SOIRDETE experiment.

  9. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Acoustical Resonance Technical Assessment Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilbert, Michael G.; Kehoe, Michael W.; Gupta, Kajal K.; Kegerise, Michael A.; Ginsberg, Jerry H.; Kolar, Ramesh

    2009-01-01

    A request was submitted on September 2, 2004 concerning the uncertainties regarding the acoustic environment within the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) cavity, and the potential for structural damage from acoustical resonance or tones, especially if they occur at or near a structural mode. The requestor asked for an independent expert opinion on the approach taken by the SOFIA project to determine if the project's analysis, structural design and proposed approach to flight test were sound and conservative. The findings from this assessment are recorded in this document.

  10. Spatial distribution of water in the stratosphere of Jupiter from observations with the Herschel space observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavalié, T.; Feuchtgruber, H.; Lellouch, E.; de Val-Borro, M.; Jarchow, C.; Moreno, R.; Hartogh, P.; Orton, G.; Greathouse, T. K.; Billebaud, F.; Dobrijevic, M.; Lara, L. M.; Gonzalez, A.; Sagawa, H.

    2013-09-01

    Water in the atmospheres of the outer planets has both an internal and an external source (e.g., [1] and [2] for Jupiter). These sources are separated by a condensation layer, the tropopause cold trap, which acts as a transport barrier between the troposphere and the stratosphere. Thus, the water vapor observed by the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) in the stratosphere of the giant planets has an external origin [3]. This external supply of water may have several sources: (i) a permanent flux from interplanetary dust particles produced from asteroid collisions and from comet activity [4], (ii) local sources from planetary environments (rings, satellites) [5], (iii) cometary "Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) type" impacts [6]. In the past 15 years, several studies suggested that water in the stratosphere of Jupiter originated from the SL9 comet impacts in July 1994, but a direct proof was missing. We will report the first high S/N spatially resolved mapping observations of water in Jupiter's stratosphere carried out with the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) [7] and Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) [8] instruments onboard the ESA Herschel Space Observatory [9]. These observations have been obtained in the framework of the Guaranteed Time Key Program "Water and related chemistry in the Solar System", also known as "Herschel Solar System Observations" (HssO) [10]. In parallel, we have monitored Jupiter's stratospheric temperature with the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) to separate temperature from water variability. We will present the results recently published by our team [11]. Water is found to be restricted to pressures lower than 2mbar. Its column density decreases by a factor of 2-3 between southern and northern latitudes (see Fig. 1), consistently between the HIFI and the PACS 66.4μm maps. Latitudinal temperature variability cannot explain the global north-south asymmetry in the water maps. From the latitudinal and vertical

  11. WISPIR: A Wide-Field Imaging SPectrograph for the InfraRed for the SPICA Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benford, Dominic J.; Mundy, Lee G.

    2010-01-01

    We have undertaken a study of a far infrared imaging spectrometer based on a Fourier transform spectrometer that uses well-understood, high maturity optics, cryogenics, and detectors to further our knowledge of the chemical and astrophysical evolution of the Universe as it formed planets, stars, and the variety of galaxy morphologies that we observe today. The instrument, Wide-field Imaging Spectrometer for the InfraRed (WISPIR), would operate on the SPICA observatory, and will feature a spectral range from 35 - 210 microns and a spectral resolving power of R=1,000 to 6,000, depending on wavelength. WISPIR provides a choice of full-field spectral imaging over a 2'x2' field or long-slit spectral imaging along a 2' slit for studies of astrophysical structures in the local and high-redshift Universe. WISPIR in long-slit mode will attain a sensitivity two orders of magnitude better than what is currently available.

  12. Project of space research and technology center in Engelhardt astronomical observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nefedyev, Y.; Gusev, A.; Sherstukov, O.; Kascheev, R.; Zagretdinov, R.

    2012-09-01

    Today on the basis of Engelhardt astronomical observatory (EAO) is created Space research and technology center as consistent with Program for expansion of the Kazan University. The Centre has the following missions: • EDUCATION • SCIENCE • ASTRONOMICAL TOURISM

  13. CALISTO - A Novel Architecture for the Single Aperture Far Infrared Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lester, Daniel F.; Goldsmith, P.; Benford, D.

    2007-12-01

    Following the success of Spitzer, and in expectation of success with JWST and Herschel, the astronomical community is looking ahead to a large aperture far infrared mission that can build on the scientific results of these missions. This expectation was formalized by the 2000 Decadal recommendation for design studies on a SAFIR - a single aperture far infrared observatory. A JWST-inspired architecture for SAFIR was considered in a Vision Mission study several years ago. We present here a exciting new architecture for this important mission that offers several advantages. This CALISTO (Cryogenic Far-Infrared/Submillimeter Observatory) architecture, originally developed by JPL, builds on the thermally optimized passive cooling design of the Vision Mission version of SAFIR, and focal plane instrument strategies as well, but is based on a 4x6m ellipsoidal primary that greatly simplifies deployment out of an ELV launch shroud. Used off-axis, this design is much less affected by scattered (e.g. galactic plane and ZODI) emission than previous architectures, providing astronomical background-limited facility over much of the sky. Technologies for such a large mirror, diffraction-limited at 20µm, are now becoming credible. Using the large focal plane to host envisioned large format sensor arrays operating with high spatial resolution, CALISTO will resolve the far infrared extragalactic background, and trace the chemical evolution of galaxies. Simple models suggest that detection of the first structure in the universe, marked by cooling primordial clouds of molecular hydrogen at high z, may be achievable with such a telescope. Further building on the work of Spitzer, CALISTO will trace the development of planetary systems, probing the inner structure of star forming disks, and reveal the structure of nearby solar systems using the structure of debris disks that surround them. We review in this paper the science goals and engineering challenges for this mission.

  14. Apache Point Observatory's All-Sky Camera: Observing Clouds in the Thermal Infrared

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, K. S. J.; Brinkmann, J.; Carr, M.; Woods, D.; Finkbeiner, D. P.; Gunn, J. E.; Loomis, C. L.; Schlegel, D.; Snedden, S.

    2002-12-01

    Cloud cover at Apache Point Observatory is monitored by an all-sky camera system which images clouds in the thermal infrared. Even thin clouds, illuminated by thermal emission from the ground, can be detected. These same clouds are almost invisible at visual wavelengths, especially on moonless nights at this dark-sky observatory site. Our camera system uses an aluminum hyperboloidal mirror to provide a wide-angle view covering most of the sky; it is sensitive to radiation in the 8 to 12 micron wavelength interval. A cloud free atmosphere is fairly transparent in this window; clouds appear as bright structures against the darker sky background. Images are recorded at video rates, then summed and averaged in software to increase system sensitivity. Current all-sky images are available to on-site observers or through the Apache Point Observatory web pages. Cloud information is used to plan observing, make real-time observing decisions, and can provide useful estimates of atmospheric extinction and sky brightness at other wavelengths.

  15. "Constellation-X and JWST: Concurrent X-ray and Infrared Great Observatories"

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hornschemeier, Ann

    2007-01-01

    Great synergy has been enjoyed between NASA's current Great Observatories and we expect that this will continue in the next decade with the concurrent operation of both Constellation-X and JWST. The great increase in sensitivity offered by these two observatories, working in unison, will be required for a number of key science investigations, several of which we describe in this poster. For instance, although >SO% of the cosmic X-ray background is resolved at 2-8 keV in the deepest Chandra surveys, the peak of the cosmic X-ray background remains largely unexplained (at energies of 8-40 keV). There may be a significant population of obscured (perhaps Compton-thick) AGN that produce this part of the extragalactic background radiation, and Constellation-X's large collecting area and spectroscopic capabilities over the 1-40 keV bandpass will allow determination of the nature of the obscuring material. This obscured nuclear emission is expected to be re-emitted at longer wavelengths and hence mid-infrared (MIR) observations can be crucial to reveal obscured AGN emission. However, current photometric observations in the infrared are limited by contamination from star formation, and sensitive, moderate-to-high resolution IR spectroscopy (provided by JWST) will be required. In addition, the two observatories will make great advances in unraveling the nature of the highest redshift AGN (4 < z < 8; and possibly 8dow)n to Seyfert luminosities and will probe the formation and evolution of galaxy groups and clusters (including important cosmological measurements). This poster describes these science areas and briefly touches upon the role of the various Con-X and JWST instruments in these science investigations.

  16. Infrared near-Earth-object survey modeling for observatories interior to the Earth's orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buie, M.

    2014-07-01

    The search for and dynamical characterization of the near-Earth population of objects (NEOs) has been a busy topic for surveys for many years. Most of the work thus far has been from ground-based optical surveys such as the Catalina Sky Survey and LINEAR. These surveys have essentially reached a complete inventory of objects down to 1 km diameter and have shown that the known objects do not pose any significant impact threat. Smaller objects are correspondingly smaller threats but there are more of them and fewer of them have so far been discovered. The next generation of surveys is looking to extend their reach down to much smaller sizes. From an impact risk perspective, those objects as small as 30--40 m are still of interest (similar in size to the Tunguska bolide). Smaller objects than this are largely of interest from a space resource or in-situ analysis efforts. A recent mission concept promoted by the B612 Foundation and Ball Aerospace calls for an infrared survey telescope in a Venus-like orbit, known as the Sentinel Mission. This wide-field facility has been designed to complete the inventory down to a 140 m diameter while also providing substantial constraints on the NEO population down to a Tunguska-sized object. I have been working to develop a suite of tools to provide survey modeling for this class of survey telescope. The purpose of the tool is to uncover hidden complexities that govern mission design and operation while also working to quantitatively understand the orbit quality provided on its catalog of objects without additional followup assets. The baseline mission design calls for a 6.5 year survey lifetime. This survey model is a statistically based tool for establishing completeness as a function of object size and survey duration. Effects modeled include the ability to adjust the field-of-regard (includes all pointing restrictions), field-of-view, focal plane array fill factor, and the observatory orbit. Consequences tracked include time

  17. Mosaic Infrared Sensor for Space Astronomy (MIRSSA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    The development of mosaic infrared detector/focal plane arrays for space astronomy is reported. The Mosaic IR Sensor for Space Astronomy (MIRSSA) Program is an effort to develop PV HgCdTe detector arrays with the spectral response of up to 5 micron and silicon CCDs for low temperature applications. Desired background-limited performance (BLIP) for space applications requires an extremely high R sub A product which can be achieved by selecting the detector materials and the operating temperature. The parameters were determined by measurement of HgCdTe PV detector arrays at various temperatures in the SW and MW spectral bands. It is demonstrated that high performance PV HgCdTe detectors can be fabricated for low temperature applications.

  18. Calculation of Precipitable Water for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy Aircraft (SOFIA): Airplane in the Night Sky

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wen, Pey Chun; Busby, Christopher M.

    2011-01-01

    Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is the new generation airborne observatory station based at NASA s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility, Palmdale, CA, to study the universe. Since the observatory detects infrared energy, water vapor is a concern in the atmosphere due to its known capacity to absorb infrared energy emitted by astronomical objects. Although SOFIA is hoping to fly above 99% of water vapor in the atmosphere it is still possible to affect astronomical observation. Water vapor is one of the toughest parameter to measure in the atmosphere, several atmosphere modeling are used to calculate water vapor loading. The water vapor loading, or Precipitable water, is being calculated by Matlab along the planned flight path. Over time, these results will help SOFIA to plan flights to regions of lower water vapor loading and hopefully improve the imagery collection of these astronomical features.

  19. Astrometric Support for Space Situational Awareness and Space Control: The U.S. Naval Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, J.

    The United States Naval Observatory (USNO), founded in 1830 as the progenitor of warfighting Position, Time and Navigation (PNT) operations, is the DoD agency mandated by the Joint Chiefs to establish, maintain, and coordinate Precise Time (such as for GPS) and Astronomical Reference Frames used by all components for navigation, precise positioning and orientation, space operations, and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR). Specifically, the USNO-charged astrometric programs address fundamental needs gaps in several key aspects of Space Situational Awareness (SSA), Space Control (SC), and space-borne Target Location Error/CEP -reduction systems. As part of its responsibility, the USNO is the developer and synthesizer of all astronomical catalogs, surveys, and databases used by the DoD. USNO then produces the products needed to satisfy both broad and mission-specific needs gaps for the warfighter in the field, the air, at sea, or on the high frontier of Space. USNO DoD programs specifically applicable to the latter include space object tracking, extreme accuracy/rapid orbit determination, offensive/defensive counterspace (OCS/DCS), multi-waveband non-resolved object characterization, space sensor calibration, and astrometric reference frame and stellar catalog definition, maintenance, and improvement. Indeed, USNO's unique capability to produce milli-arcsecond guidance data is foundational to SSA/SC, and precision targeting and munitions. USNO capabilities will be discussed, and a vision presented of how advancements in astrometric programs will close need gaps, enable future capabilities in Space Situational Awareness, Space Control and spaceborne ISR.

  20. Ecological Niches for Space Missions in the Far-Infrared

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benford, Dominic J.; Leisawitz, D. T.; Moseley, S. H.; Shafer, R. A.; Staguhn, J. G.; Fisher, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The far-infrared and submillimeter region (30 micrometers-750 micrometers) has perhaps the greatest potential of all wavelengths for advancement in astronomy. When viewed in terms of the cosmic backgrounds, the fares is extremely important: half of the total luminosity in the Universe is emitted at rest wavelengths approximately 80 - 100 micrometers. At the highest known galaxy redshifts (z approximately equal to 6) this energy is redshifted to approximately 600 micrometers. Existing and planned survey missions have a broad range of capabilities, defined in terms of their spectral coverage, spectral resolution, survey area, and sensitivity. In this 4-dimensional parameter space, the flares is found to be substantially behind most other wavelength bands. The opportunity for future missions with great discovery potential is evident. Such missions will be wellsuited to answering fundamental questions about the history of energy release in the Universe, the formation and evolution of galaxies, and formation of stellar and protoplanetary systems. We discuss the parameter space that can be filled by a few well-chosen space missions, specifically a submillimeter all-sky survey and a far-IR to submillimeter observatory.

  1. Ecological Niches for Space Missions in the Far-Infrared

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benford, D. J.; Fisher, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The far-infrared and submillimeter region (30 micron-750 micron) has perhaps the greatest potential of all wavelengths for advancement in astronomy. When viewed in terms of the cosmic backgrounds, the far-IR is extremely important: half of the total luminosity in the Universe is emitted at rest wavelengths approximately 80-100 microns. At the highest known galaxy redshifts, this energy is redshifted to approximately 600 microns. Existing and planned missions have a broad range of capabilities defined in terms of their spectral coverage, spectral resolution, angular resolution, survey speed, and sensitivity. In this parameter space, the opportunity for future far-IR and submillimeter missions with great discovery potential is evident. Such missions will answer fundamental questions about the history of energy release in the Universe, the formation and evolution of galaxies, and formation of stellar and protoplanetary systems. We discuss the parameter space that can be filled by a few well-chosen space missions, specifically a submillimeter all-sky survey and a far-IR to submillimeter observatory.

  2. Maximizing Science Capability for Far-Infrared Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benford, Dominic; Leisawitz, Dave; Moseley, Harvey; Staguhn, Johannes; Voellmer, George

    2004-01-01

    The far-infrared and submillimeter region (20 microns-800 microns) has perhaps the greatest potential of all wavelengths for advancement in astronomy. When viewed in terms of the cosmic backgrounds, the far-IR is extremely important: half of the total luminosity in the Universe is emitted at rest wavelengths approximately 80-100 microns. At the highest known galaxy redshifts (z approximately equal to 6) this energy is redshifted to approximately 600 microns. Existing and planned missions have a broad range of capabilities, defined in terms of their spectral coverage, spectral resolution, angular resolution, mapping speed, and sensitivity. In this 5-dimensional parameter space, the far-IR is substantially be-hind most other wavelength bands. The opportunity for future missions with great discovery potential is evident. Such missions will be well-suited to answering fundamental questions about the history of energy release in the Universe, the formation and evolution of galaxies, and formation of stellar and protoplanetary systems. We discuss the parameter space that can be filled by a few well-chosen space missions, specifically a submillimeter all-sky survey and a far-IR to submillimeter observatory. Ultimately, a long baseline submillimeter interferometer is necessary to provide sensitivity and angular resolution.

  3. The Astrobiology Space Infrared Explorer (ASPIRE) Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.; Sandford, S. A.; Roellig, T. L.; ASPIRE Team

    2009-01-01

    The Astrobiology Space Infrared Explorer (ASPIRE) Mission is one of the Origins Probe Mission Concepts that is currently being studied in preparation for inputs to the upcoming Decadal Survey. The mission is a cooled 1-m class telescope optimized to efficiently obtain high quality infrared spectra in the 2.5-36 micron wavelength region. The principal goal of the mission is to detect, identify, and determine the abundance of molecular species, particularly organics, throughout the universe. This will be done by obtaining spectra for a comprehensive range of Solar System, galactic, and extra-galactic environments and the interfaces between them. ASPIRE will be capable of obtaining continuous moderate resolution spectra from 2.5-36 microns at spectral resolutions of about 2500 (2.5-20 microns) and 900 (20-36 microns). ASPIRE will also be able to obtain high resolution spectra (resolutions of 25,000) over selected windows in the 3.1-18 micron region. The ASPIRE suite of instruments provides the ability to study both gas-phase and solid-state materials in space. The PI for the mission is Scott Sandford and major mission partners include NASA-Ames, JPL, and Ball Aerospace.

  4. Effect of jet engine exhaust on SOFIA straylight performance. [Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    St. Clair Dinger, Ann

    1993-01-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is being designed at NASA's Ames Research Center as a replacement for the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO). A 2.5-m Nasmyth telescope will be mounted in a Boeing 747 SP and flown at 41,000 ft, above most of the H2O in the earth's atmosphere. In the original SOFIA design, the telescope is located in front of the wings, as it is in the KAO. An alternative design with the telescope placed behind the wings is being studied as part of an effort to reduce cost and weight. In this location, the emission from the engines and the hot H2O molecules in the exhaust become significant straylight sources. The engines and exhaust radiate into the telescope cavity, and illuminate the primary and tertiary mirrors at low telescope elevation angles. The APART/PADE program was used to analyze the straylight at the SOFIA focal plane as a function of wavelength and telescope elevation angle. The emission from the engines and exhaust gas is compared to that from the earth and the telescope itself. Based on the results of this analysis, the SOFIA telescope has been moved behind the wings.

  5. Aerodynamic and Acoustic Flight Test Results and Results for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cumming, Stephen B.; Smith, Mark S.; Cliatt, Larry J.; Frederick, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    As part of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy program, a 747SP airplane was modified to carry a 2.5-m telescope in the aft section of the fuselage. The resulting airborne observatory allows for observations above 99 percent of the water vapor in the atmosphere. The open cavity created by the modifications had the potential to significantly affect the airplane in the areas of aerodynamics and acoustics. Several series of flight tests were conducted to clear the operating envelope of the airplane for astronomical observations, planned to be performed between the altitudes of 35,000 ft and 45,000 ft. The flight tests were successfully completed. Cavity acoustics were below design limits, and the overall acoustic characteristics of the cavity were better than expected. The modification did have some effects on the stability and control of the airplane, but these effects were not significant. Airplane air data systems were not affected by the modifications. This paper describes the methods used to examine the aerodynamics and acoustic data from the flight tests and provides a discussion of the flight-test results in the areas of cavity acoustics, stability and control, and air data.

  6. Aerodynamic and Acoustic Flight Test Results for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cumming, Stephen B.; Cliatt, Larry James; Frederick, Michael A.; Smith, Mark S.

    2013-01-01

    As part of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) program, a 747SP airplane was modified to carry a 2.5 meter telescope in the aft section of the fuselage. The resulting airborne observatory allows for observations above 99 percent of the water vapor in the atmosphere. The open cavity created by the modifications had the potential to significantly affect the airplane in the areas of aerodynamics and acoustics. Several series of flight tests were conducted to clear the airplanes operating envelope for astronomical observations, planned to be performed between the altitudes of 39,000 feet and 45,000 feet. The flight tests were successfully completed. Cavity acoustics were below design limits, and the overall acoustic characteristics of the cavity were better than expected. The modification did have some effects on the stability and control of the airplane, but these effects were not significant. Airplane air data systems were not affected by the modifications. This paper describes the methods used to examine the aerodynamics and acoustic data from the flight tests and provides a discussion of the flight test results in the areas of cavity acoustics, stability and control, and air data.

  7. Mission Concept for the Single Aperture Far-Infrared (SAFIR) Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benford, Dominic J.; Amato, Michael J.; Mather, John C.; Moseley, S. Harvey; Leisawitz, David T.

    2004-12-01

    The Single Aperture Far-InfraRed (SAFIR) Observatory’s science goals are driven by the fact that the earliest stages of almost all phenomena in the universe are shrouded in absorption by and emission from cool dust and gas that emits strongly in the far-infrared (40μ 200μ) and submillimeter (200μ 1 mm). In the very early universe, the warm gas of newly collapsing, unenriched galaxies will be revealed by molecular hydrogen emission lines at these long wavelengths. High redshift quasars are found to have substantial reservoirs of cool gas and dust, indicative of substantial metal enrichment early in the history of the universe. As a result, even early stages of galaxy formation will show powerful far-infrared emission. The combination of strong dust emission and large redshift (1 < z < 7) of these galaxies means that they can only be studied in the far-infrared and submillimeter. For nearby galaxies, many of the most active galaxies in the universe appear to be those whose gaseous disks are interacting in violent collisions. The details of these galaxies, including the effect of the central black holes that probably exist in most of them, are obscured to shorter wavelength optical and ultraviolet observatories by the large amounts of dust in their interstellar media. Within our own galaxy, the earliest stages of star formation, when gas and dust clouds are collapsing and the beginnings of a central star are taking shape, can only be observed in the far-infrared and submillimeter. The cold dust that ultimately forms the planetary systems, as well as the cool “debris” dust clouds that indicate the likelihood of planetary sized bodies around more developed stars, can only be observed at wavelengths longward of 20μ.

  8. First extragalactic detection of submillimeter CH rotational lines from the Herschel space observatory

    SciTech Connect

    Rangwala, Naseem; Maloney, Philip R.; Glenn, Jason; Kamenetzky, Julia; Wilson, Christine D.; Schirm, Maximilien R. P.; Spinoglio, Luigi; Pereira Santaella, Miguel

    2014-06-20

    We present the first extragalactic detections of several CH rotational transitions in the far-infrared in four nearby galaxies, NGC 1068, Arp 220, M82, and NGC 253, using the Herschel Space Observatory. The CH lines in all four galaxies are a factor of 2-4 brighter than the adjacent HCN and HCO{sup +} J = 6-5 lines (also detected in the same spectra). In the star-formation-dominated galaxies, M82, NGC 253, and Arp 220, the CH/CO abundance ratio is low (∼10{sup –5}), implying that the CH is primarily arising in diffuse and translucent gas where the chemistry is driven by UV radiation as found in the Milky Way interstellar matter. In NGC 1068, which has a luminous active galactic nucleus (AGN), the CH/CO ratio is an order of magnitude higher, suggesting that CH formation is driven by an X-ray-dominated region (XDR). Our XDR models show that both the CH and CO abundances in NGC 1068 can be explained by an XDR-driven chemistry for gas densities and molecular hydrogen column densities that are well constrained by the CO observations. We conclude that the CH/CO ratio may a good indicator of the presence of AGN in galaxies. We also discuss the feasibility of detecting CH in intermediate- to high-z galaxies with ALMA.

  9. Characterization of the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) ability to serve as an infrared satellite intercalibration reference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobin, David; Holz, Robert; Nagle, Fred; Revercomb, Henry

    2016-04-01

    Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) is a future mission employing an infrared spectrometer with unprecedented calibration accuracy and the ability to assess its calibration on-orbit using a novel verification system. Utilizing this capability for satellite intercalibration is a primary objective of the mission. This paper presents a new infrared intercalibration methodology that minimizes the intercalibration uncertainties and provides uncertainty estimates resulting from the scene variability and instrument noise. Results of a simulation study to characterize realistic spatial and temporal matching differences for simultaneous nadir overpasses (SNOs) of CLARREO and existing hyperspectral sounders are presented. This study, along with experience with intercalibration of real data, finds that intercalibration uncertainties are minimized when the SNOs are not screened for sky conditions but instead weighted based on the observed scene variability. Intercalibration performance is investigated for a 90° polar orbit mission and for a Pathfinder mission on the International Space Station, for various potential CLARREO footprint sizes, and as a function of mission length, scene brightness temperature, and wavelength. The results are encouraging and suggest that biases between CLARREO and sounder observations can be determined with low uncertainty and with high time frequency during a CLARREO mission. For example, the simulations suggest that a CLARREO footprint of 50 to 100 km in diameter is optimal for intercalibration, and that the 3 sigma intercalibration uncertainty is less than 0.1 K for channels at infrared window wavelengths using 2 months of accumulated SNOs, and for more absorbing channels with less scene variability the uncertainties are less than 50 mK.

  10. A simple model for coupled acoustic-structure resonance in Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginsberg, Jerry H.

    2005-04-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint project of NASA and the Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt that has mounted a 2.5 m, 20 000 kg infrared telescope on a bulkhead of a specially modified Boeing 747-SP. A large sliding door will expose the observation bay to the exterior flow field at Mach 0.85 and 13 km altitude. In the open configuration the interaction of turbulence vortices generated at the leading and trailing edges of the opening has the possibility of inducing a strong acoustic signal. A concern has been raised that the peak frequencies of such a signal might coincide with the cavity resonances. The present work examines the transfer function for a known source in order to identify the cavity resonances. Simplistic reasoning argues that the worst case would occur if the cavity resonant frequencies are close to structural resonances. However, the structure's impedance is very low at its resonances, which means that the cavity resonant frequencies are shifted from their nominal values. The present work uses a simple one-dimensional waveguide model, in which one end is terminated by a damped single-degree-of-freedom oscillator, to explain the coupled-fluid structure resonance. The characteristic equation and formulas for the pressure and displacement transfer functions are derived. Analysis of these results leads to some surprising insights regarding the role of a structure's stiffness and mass. [Work supported by the NASA.

  11. Features Of Cavity Flow And Acoustics Of Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, G. R.; Klotz, S. P.; Tu, Eugene (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    The stratospheric observatory for infrared astronomy (SOFIA) is a 2.5 meter aperture Cassegrain telescope with a Nasmyth focus that will be housed in an open cavity in the Boeing 747-SP aircraft and operated at altitudes around 41,000 feet for infrared (IR) viewing of celestial events of astronomical nature. At these altitudes the IR viewing capability of SOFIA far exceeds that of any ground based system. To minimize IR transmission losses, SOFIA will operate with an open cavity. Such an open cavity during flight creates several challenging aerodynamic and aeroacoustic design problems. Foremost of these are: the shear layer over the cavity may cause unwanted resonance if the cavity is untreated; this might give rise to excessive sound pressure levels (SPL) in the cavity and thus affect the unsteady loads on the telescope; the unsteady flow within the cavity produces large dynamic loads and moments that will impact the pointing accuracy of the telescope; the open cavity and the shear layer control devices produce additional drag that will affect directly the time of flight of the mission; the aft location of the cavity down stream of port wing will affect the the flow on the aircraft control surfaces and thus the stability of the aircraft. Also, the highly turbulent shear layer over the cavity and the temperature gradients and 'hot spots' within the cavity can produce a wave front error of the image when it reaches the focal plane of the recorder.

  12. Observatory Improvements for SOFIA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peralta, Robert A.; Jensen, Stephen C.

    2012-01-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint project between NASA and Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), the German Space Agency. SOFIA is based in a Boeing 747 SP and flown in the stratosphere to observe infrared wavelengths unobservable from the ground. In 2007 Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) inherited and began work on improving the plane and its telescope. The improvements continue today with upgrading the plane and improving the telescope. The Observatory Verification and Validation (V&V) process is to ensure that the observatory is where the program says it is. The Telescope Status Display (TSD) will provide any information from the on board network to monitors that will display the requested information. In order to assess risks to the program, one must work through the various threats associate with that risk. Once all the risks are closed the program can work towards improving the observatory.

  13. LST: The National Space Observatory concept - An observatory for future astronomer involvement in planning and use

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roman, N. G.

    1974-01-01

    The Large Space Telescope (LST) will be a unique facility which must be designed to serve the needs of all potential users throughout the world. This requires that a representative group of astronomers work intimately with the engineers in the early design of the telescope and that astronomers continue to be closely involved in the planning throughout the life of the project. Forty scientists are now defining the auxiliary instruments and their operation. Later, others will build instruments and participate in assigning observing time on the telescope, on the basis of the scientific merit of the proposed observation.

  14. The Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rinehart, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    The Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT) is a candidate NASA Origins Probe Mission. SPIRIT is a two-telescope Michelson interferometer covering wavelengths from 25-400 microns, providing simultaneously high spectral resolution and high angular resolution. With comparable sensitivity to Spitzer, but two orders of magnitude improvement in angular resolution, SPIRIT will enable us to address a wide array of compelling scientific questions, including how planetary systems form in disks and how new planets interact with the disk. Further, SPIRIT will lay the technological groundwork for an array of future interferometry missions with ambitious scientific goals, including the Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer/Darwin, and the Submillimeter Probe of the Evolution of Cosmic Structure.

  15. The Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rinehart, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    The Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT) is a candidate NASA Origins Probe Mission. SPIRIT is a two-telescope Michelson interferometer covering wavelengths from 25-400 microns, providing simultaneously high spectral resolution and high angular resolution. With comparable sensitivity to Spitzer, but two orders of magnitude improvement in angular resolution, SPIRIT will enable us to address a wide array of compelling scientific questions, including how planetary systems form in disks and how new planets interact with the disk. Further, SPIRIT will lay the technological groundwork for an array of future interferometry missions with ambitious scientific goals, including the Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer / Darwin, and the Submillimeter Probe of the Evolution of Cosmic Structure.

  16. Proceedings of the Second Infrared Detector Technology Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccreight, C. R. (Compiler)

    1986-01-01

    The workshop focused on infrared detector, detector array, and cryogenic electronic technologies relevant to low-background space astronomy. Papers are organized into the following categories: discrete infrared detectors and readout electronics; advanced bolometers; intrinsic integrated infrared arrays; and extrinsic integrated infrared arrays. Status reports on the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) and Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) programs are also included.

  17. Progress and Prospects toward a Space-based Gravitational-Wave Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, John

    2012-01-01

    Over the last few years there has been much activity in the effort to produce a space-based gravitational-wave observatory. These efforts have enriched the understanding of the scientific capabilities of such an observatory leading to broad recognition of its value as an astronomical instrument. At the same time, rapidly developing events in the US and Europe have lead to a more complicated outlook than the baseline Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) project plan of a few years ago. I will discuss recent progress and developments resulting from the European eLISA study and the SGO study in the US and prospects looking forward.

  18. A scientific program for infrared, submillimeter and radio astronomy from space: A report by the Management Operations Working Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    Important and fundamental scientific progress can be attained through space observations in the wavelengths longward of 1 micron. The formation of galaxies, stars, and planets, the origin of quasars and the nature of active galactic nuclei, the large scale structure of the Universe, and the problem of the missing mass, are among the major scientific issues that can be addressed by these observations. Significant advances in many areas of astrophysics can be made over the next 20 years by implementing the outlined program. This program combines large observatories with smaller projects to create an overall scheme that emphasized complementarity and synergy, advanced technology, community support and development, and the training of the next generation of scientists. Key aspects of the program include: the Space Infrared Telescope Facility; the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy; a robust program of small missions; and the creation of the technology base for future major observatories.

  19. Need for a network of observatories for space debris dynamical and physical characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piergentili, Fabrizio; Santoni, Fabio; Castronuovo, Marco; Portelli, Claudio; Cardona, Tommaso; Arena, Lorenzo; Sciré, Gioacchino; Seitzer, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Space debris represents a major concern for space missions since the risk of impact with uncontrolled objects has increased dramatically in recent years. Passive and active mitigation countermeasures are currently under consideration but, at the base of any of such corrective actions is the space debris continuous monitoring through ground based surveillance systems.At the present, many space agencies have the capability to get optical measurements of space orbiting objects mainly relaying on single observatories. The recent research in the field of space debris, demonstrated how it is possible to increase the effectiveness of optical measurements exploitation by using joint observations of the same target from different sites.The University of Rome "La Sapienza", in collaboration with Italian Space Agency (ASI), is developing a scientific network of observatories dedicated to Space Debris deployed in Italy (S5Scope at Rome and SPADE at Matera) and in Kenya at the Broglio Space Center in Malindi (EQUO). ASI founded a program dedicated to space debris, in order to spread the Italian capability to deal with different aspects of this issue. In this framework, the University of Rome is in charge of coordinating the observatories network both in the operation scheduling and in the data analysis. This work describes the features of the observatories dedicated to space debris observation, highlighting their capabilities and detailing their instrumentation. Moreover, the main features of the scheduler under development, devoted to harmonizing the operations of the network, will be shown. This is a new system, which will autonomously coordinate the observations, aiming to optimize results in terms of number of followed targets, amount of time dedicated to survey, accuracy of orbit determination and feasibility of attitude determination through photometric data.Thus, the authors will describe the techniques developed and applied (i) to implement the multi-site orbit

  20. The Challenge of Data Reduction for Multiple Instruments on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charcos-Llorens, M. V.; Krzaczek, R.; Shuping, R. Y.; Lin, L.

    2011-07-01

    SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, presents a number of interesting challenges for the development of a data reduction environment which, at its initial phase, will have to incorporate pipelines from seven different instruments developed by organizations around the world. Therefore, the SOFIA data reduction software must run code which has been developed in a variety of dissimilar environments, e.g., IDL, Python, Java, C++. Moreover, we anticipate this diversity will only increase in future generations of instrumentation. We investigated three distinctly different situations for performing pipelined data reduction in SOFIA: (1) automated data reduction after data archival at the end of a mission, (2) re-pipelining of science data with updated calibrations or optimum parameters, and (3) the interactive user-driven local execution and analysis of data reduction by an investigator. These different modes would traditionally result in very different software implementations of algorithms used by each instrument team, in effect tripling the amount of data reduction software that would need to be maintained by SOFIA. We present here a unique approach for enfolding all the instrument-specific data reduction software in the observatory framework and verifies the needs for all three reduction scenarios as well as the standard visualization tools. The SOFIA data reduction structure would host the different algorithms and techniques that the instrument teams develop in their own programming language and operating system. Ideally, duplication of software is minimized across the system because instrument teams can draw on software solutions and techniques previously delivered to SOFIA by other instruments. With this approach, we minimize the effort for analyzing and developing new software reduction pipelines for future generation instruments. We also explore the potential benefits of this approach in the portability of the software to an ever

  1. NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA): Capabilities for Planetary and Exoplanetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Backman, Dana E.; Reach, W. T.; Dunham, E. W.; Wolf, J.; Rho, J.; SOFIA Science Team

    2012-10-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) enables high angular and spectral resolution observations with its seven first-generation instruments: 3 cameras, 3 spectrometers, and a high-speed photometer. These capabilities make SOFIA a powerful facility for advancing understanding of planetary and exoplanetary atmospheres, star and planet formation processes, and chemistry of the protosolar nebula and protoplanetary disks. SOFIA's Early Science program, using the FORCAST mid-IR camera (PI Terry Herter, Cornell), the GREAT far-IR spectrometer (PI Rolf Guesten, MPIfR), and the HIPO occultation photometer (PI Ted Dunham, Lowell Observatory), is now complete. Some Early Science results were published in special issues of Ap.J.Letters (v.749) and Astronomy & Astrophysics (v.542). Regarding solar system targets, SOFIA obtained mid-IR images of Jupiter and of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 (the latter observations were part of Earth-based support for the EPOXI mission). On 23 June 2011, SOFIA intercepted the center of Pluto's shadow that crossed the Pacific at nearly 30 km/sec. The occultation light curve was observed from SOFIA simultaneously by the HIPO photometer and the Fast Diagnostic Camera (FDC; PI Juergen Wolf, DSI). HIPO is specifically intended for planetary science, including stellar occultations by solar system bodies and extrasolar planet transits. HIPO can be co-mounted with the near-IR camera FLITECAM (PI Ian McLean, UCLA) to provide simultaneous photometric coverage in two bands (0.3-1 and 1-5 microns); this was first demonstrated in October 2011. At longer wavelengths SOFIA will make unique contributions to the characterization of astrochemical processes and molecular contents of planets, exoplanets, and protoplanetary disks with a mid-IR spectrometer, a far-IR imaging spectrometer, and a far-IR camera with grism that are soon to be commissioned.

  2. (abstract) Infrared Cirrus and Future Space Based Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gautier, T. N.

    1993-01-01

    A review of the known properties of the distribution of infrared cirrus is followed by a discussion of the implications of cirrus on observations from space. Probable limitations on space observations due to IR cirrus.

  3. Preliminary Parallaxes of 40 L and T Dwarfs from the US Naval Observatory Infrared Astronometry Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vrba, F. J.; Henden, A. A.; Liginbuhl, C. B.; Guetter, H. H.; Munn, J. A.

    2004-01-01

    We present preliminary trigonometric parallaxes and proper motions for 22 L dwarfs and 18 T dwarfs measured using the ASTROCAM infrared imager on the US naval Observatory (USNO) 1.55 m Strand Astrometric Reflector. The results presented here are based on observations obtained between 2000 September and 2002 November; about half of the objects have an observational time baseline of t 1:3 yr and half t 2:0 yr. Despite these short time baselines, the astrometric quality is sufficient to produce significant new results, especially for the nearer T dwarfs. Seven objects are in common with the USNO optical CCD parallax program for quality control and seven in common with the European Southern Observatory 3.5 m New Technology Telescope parallax program. We compare astrometric quality with both of these programs. Relative to absolute parallax corrections are made by employing Two Micron All Sky Survey and/or Sloan Digital Sky Survey photometry for reference-frame stars. We combine USNO infrared and optical parallaxes with the best available California Institute of Technology (CIT) system photometry to determine MJ , MH, and MK values for 37 L dwarfs between spectral types L0 and L8 and 19 T dwarfs between spectral types T0.5 and T8 and present selected absolute magnitude versus spectral type and color diagrams, based on these results. Luminosities and temperatures are estimated for these objects. Of special interest are the distances of several objects that are at or near the L-T dwarf boundary so that this important transition can be better understood. The previously reported early to mid T dwarf luminosity excess is clearly confirmed and found to be present at J, H, and K. The large number of objects that populate this luminosity-excess region indicate that it cannot be due entirely to selection effects. The T dwarf sequence is extended to MJ 16:9 by 2MASS J041519 0935, which, at d 5:74 pc, is found to be the lluminous LOG (L=L )pa

  4. Exploring science and technology through the Herschel space observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minier, V.; Rouzé, M.

    2015-03-01

    Because modern astronomy associates the quest of our origins and high-tech instruments, communicating and teaching astronomy explore both science and technology. We report here on our work in communicating astronomy to the public through Web sites (www.herschel.fr), movies on Dailymotion (www.dailymotion.com/AstrophysiqueTV) and new ITC tools that describe interactively the technological dimension of a space mission for astrophysics.

  5. NASA X-Ray Observatory Completes Tests Under Harsh Simulated Space Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-07-01

    NASA's most powerful X-ray observatory has successfully completed a month-long series of tests in the extreme heat, cold, and airless conditions it will encounter in space during its five-year mission to shed new light on some of the darkest mysteries of the universe. The Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility was put through the rigorous testing as it was alternately heated and cooled in a special vacuum chamber at TRW Space and Electronics Group in Redondo Beach, Calif., NASA's prime contractor for the observatory. "Successful completion of thermal vacuum testing marks a significant step in readying the observatory for launch aboard the Space Shuttle in January," said Fred Wojtalik, manager of the Observatory Projects Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "The observatory is a complex, highly sophisticated, precision instrument," explained Wojtalik. "We are pleased with the outcome of the testing, and are very proud of the tremendous team of NASA and contractor technicians, engineers and scientists that came together and worked hard to meet this challenging task." Testing began in May after the observatory was raised into the 60-foot thermal vacuum chamber at TRW. Testing was completed on June 20. During the tests the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility was exposed to 232 degree heat and 195 degree below zero Fahrenheit cold. During four temperature cycles, all elements of the observatory - the spacecraft, telescope, and science instruments - were checked out. Computer commands directing the observatory to perform certain functions were sent from test consoles at TRW to all Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility components. A team of contractor and NASA engineers and scientists monitored and evaluated the results. Commands were also sent from, and test data monitored at, the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility Operations Control Center in Cambridge, Mass., as part of the test series. The observatory will be managed and controlled from

  6. On the Station-Keeping and Control of the World Space Observatory/Ultraviolet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Xi-Yun; Wang, Hai-Hong; Liu, Lin

    2006-06-01

    Collinear libration points play an important role in deep space exploration because of their special positions and dynamical characteristics. Since motion around them is unstable, we need to control the spacecraft if we wish to keep them around such a libration point for a long time. Here we propose a continuous low-thrust control strategy, illustrated with numerical simulations combined with the orbit design and control of the World Space Observatory/UltraViolet (WSO/UV).

  7. Earth Observatory Satellite system definition study. Report 6: Space shuttle interfaces/utilization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    An analysis was conducted to determine the compatibility of the Earth Observatory Satellite (EOS) with the space shuttle. The mechanical interfaces and provisions required for a launch or retrieval of the EOS by the space shuttle are summarized. The space shuttle flight support equipment required for the operation is defined. Diagrams of the space shuttle in various configurations are provised to show the mission capability with the EOS. The subjects considered are as follows: (1) structural and mechanical interfaces, (2) spacecraft retention and deployment, (3) spacecraft retrieval, (4) electrical interfaces, (5) payload shuttle operations, (6) shuttle mode cost analysis, (7) shuttle orbit trades, and (8) safety considerations.

  8. Infrared monitoring of nuclear power in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hafemeister, David W.

    1988-12-01

    Using parameters for unclassified astronomical observatories based on Maui and on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, we have determined the level of confidence of monitoring a ban on nuclear power in earth orbit. Existing military and astronomical observatories can detect and identify operating nuclear power sources on satellites, such as the Soviet RORSAT and American SP100, with a very high level of confidence to distances beyond geosynchronous orbit. A cold reactor can be detected with a medium level of confidence with visual observations by close-flying reconnaissance satellites with medium confidence, and in the future with very high confidence with the interrogation of neutrons. The smaller thermal sources, RTG and DIPS, could be detected with medium level of confidence under certain conditions. Large pulsed reactors can be detected with a medium confidence level with visual observations from close satellites, and with a very high level of confidence with neutron interrogation.

  9. Nanosats for a Radio Interferometer Observatory in Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cecconi, B.; Katsanevras, S.; Puy, D.; Bentum, M.

    2015-10-01

    During the last decades, astronomy and space physics changed dramatically our knowledge of the evolution of the Universe. However, our view is still incomplete in the very low frequency range (1- 30 MHz), which is thus one of the last unexplored astrophysical spectral band. Below 30 MHz, ionospheric fluctuations severely perturb groundbased observations. They are impossible below 10 MHz due to the ionospheric cutoff. In addition, man made radio interferences makes it even more difficult to observe from ground at low frequencies. Deploying a radio instrument in space is the only way to open this new window on the Universe. Among the many science objectives for such type of instrumentations, we can find cosmological studies such as the Dark Ages of the Universe, the remote astrophysical objects, pulsars and fast transients, the interstellar medium. The following Solar system and Planetary objectives are also very important: - Sun-Earth Interactions: The Sun is strongly influencing the interplanetary medium (IPM) and the terrestrial geospatial environment. The evolution mechanisms of coronal mass ejections (CME) and their impact on solar system bodies are still not fully understood. This results in large inaccuracies on the eruption models and prediction tools, and their consequences on the Earth environment. Very low frequency radio imaging capabilities (especially for the Type II solar radio bursts, which are linked with interplanetary shocks) should allow the scientific community to make a big step forward in understanding of the physics and the dynamics of these phenomena, by observing the location of the radio source, how they correlate with their associated shocks and how they propagate within the IPM. - Planets and Exoplanets: The Earth and the fourgiant planets are hosting strong magnetic fields producing large magnetospheres. Particle acceleration are very efficient therein and lead to emitting intense low frequency radio waves in their auroral regions. These

  10. CALET: High energy cosmic ray observatory on International Space Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, Masaki; CALET Collaboration

    2012-12-01

    The CALorimeteric Electron Telescope (CALET) is a Japanese-led international mission being developed as part of the utilization plan for the International Space Station (ISS). CALET will be launched by an H-II B rocket utilizing the Japanese developed HTV (H-II Transfer Vehicle) in 2014. The instrument will be robotically emplaced upon the Exposed Facility attached to the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM-EF). CALET is a calorimeter based instrument which will have superior energy resolution and excellent separation between hadrons and electrons and between charged particles and gamma rays in the GeV to trans-TeV energy range. CALET will address many questions in high energy astrophysics, including (1) the nature of the sources of high energy particles and photons, through the high energy electron spectrum, (2) signatures of dark matter, in either the high energy electron or gamma ray spectrum, (3) the details of particle propagation in the Galaxy, by a combination of energy spectrum measurements of electrons, protons and highercharged nuclei. In this paper the outline and current status of CALET are summarized.

  11. Data Processing of the magnetograms for the Near InfraRed Imaging Spectropolarimeter at Big Bear Solar Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, Kwangsu; Cao, Wenda; Shumko, Sergiy; Chae, Jongchul

    2016-05-01

    We want to present the processing result of the vector magnetograms from the Near InfraRed Imaging Spectropolarimeter (NIRIS) at Big Bear Solar Observatory. The NIRIS is a successor of an old magnetograph system at BBSO, which equips with the new infrared detector and the improved Fabry-Perot filter system. While there are several upgrades to the new hardware, there are also some challenges as the data acquisition rate increases and we deal with the a larger detector array. The overall process includes dark and flat correction, image alignment, de-stretch, Stokes parameter selection, calibration of instrumental crosstalk, and Milne-Eddington inversion.

  12. TRW Ships NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory To Kennedy Space Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-04-01

    Two U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy transport planes carrying the observatory and its ground support equipment landed at Kennedy's Space Shuttle Landing Facility at 2:40 p.m. EST this afternoon. REDONDO BEACH, CA.--(Business Wire)--Feb. 4, 1999--TRW has shipped NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory ("Chandra") to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), in Florida, in preparation for a Space Shuttle launch later this year. The 45-foot-tall, 5-ton science satellite will provide astronomers with new information on supernova remnants, the surroundings of black holes, and other celestial phenomena that produce vast quantities of X-rays. Cradled safely in the cargo hold of a tractor-trailer rig called the Space Cargo Transportation System (SCTS), NASA's newest space telescope was ferried on Feb. 4 from Los Angeles International Airport to KSC aboard an Air Force C-5 Galaxy transporter. The SCTS, an Air Force container, closely resembles the size and shape of the Shuttle cargo bay. Over the next few months, Chandra will undergo final tests at KSC and be mated to a Boeing-provided Inertial Upper Stage for launch aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. A launch date for the Space Shuttle STS-93 mission is expected to be announced later this week. The third in NASA's family of Great Observatories that includes the Hubble Space Telescope and the TRW-built Compton Gamma Ray observatory, Chandra will use the world's most powerful X-ray telescope to allow scientists to "see" and monitor cosmic events that are invisible to conventional optical telescopes. Chandra's X-ray images will yield new insight into celestial phenomena such as the temperature and extent of gas clouds that comprise clusters of galaxies and the superheating of gas and dust particles as they swirl into black holes. A TRW-led team that includes the Eastman Kodak Co., Raytheon Optical Systems Inc., and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. designed and built the Chandra X-ray Observatory for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The

  13. Pointing control system for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaercher, Hans J.; Eisentraeger, Peter; Wandner, Karl; Nordmann, Rainer; Schoenhoff, Ulrich

    1998-05-01

    SOFIA, the successor of NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory KAO, is at present under development as a joint program of NASA and the German Space Agency DLR. SOFIA consists of a 2.5 m class IR telescope operated in a Boeing 747SP airplane at altitudes above 41,000 ft. The environment conditions of the telescope during operations in the open port of the aircraft are very harsh and not comparable with those of earthbound telescopes or space telescopes. The narrowness of the port, the disturbances by aircraft vibrations, aero- acoustic loads and wind, the low air pressure and temperatures, the airworthiness regulations, and the specified pointing accuracy of 0.2 arcsec are challenges for the telescope design, which need peculiar decisions. The SOFIA telescope concept takes up some essential features of the KAO telescope, but also acknowledges the technological progress and the increased mirror size. The optimal use of modern design and analysis methods- 'end-to-end- simulations', which combine the behavior of the optical, the structural, mechanical, and the control system and subdue it to the disturbances in the aircraft environment. The paper presents the principles design features of the proposed pointing control system for SOFIA and the latest result of the pointing simulations.

  14. Exploration an the Search for Origins: A Vision for Ultraviolet-Optical-Infrared Space Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dressler, Alan (Editor); Brown, Robert A.; Davidsen, Arthur F.; Ellis, Richard S.; Freedman, Wendy L.; Green, Richard F.; Hauser, Michael G.; Kirshner, Robert P.; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Lilly, Simon J.; Margon, Bruce H.; Porco, Carolyn C.; Richstone, Douglas O.; Stockman, H. S.; Thronson, Harley A., Jr.; Tonry, John L.; Truran, James; Weiler, Edward J.

    1996-01-01

    Public support and enthusiasm for astronomy have been strong in the final decades of the twentieth century. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than with the Hubble Space Telescope (HCT), a grand endeavor, which is enabling astronomers to make giant strides in understanding our universe, our place in it, and our relation to it. The NASAs first infrared observatory, the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), promises to take the crucial next steps towards understanding the formation of stars and galaxies. Toward their completion, the HST and Beyond Committee identifies major goals, whose accomplishment will justify a commitment well into the next century: (1) the detailed study of the birth and evolution of normal galaxies such as the Milky Way; (2) the detection of Earth-like planets around other stars and the search for evidence of life on them; (3) NASA should develop a space observatory of aperture 4m or larger, optimized for imaging and spectroscopy over the wavelength range 1-5 microns; and (4) NASA should develop the capability for space interferometry.

  15. Site Selection and Deployment Scenarios for Servicing of Deep-Space Observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willenberg, Harvey J.; Fruhwirth, Michael A.; Potter, Seth D.; Leete, Stephen J.; Moe, Rud V.

    2001-01-01

    The deep-space environment and relative transportation accessibility of the Weak Stability Boundary (WSB) region connecting the Earth-Moon and Sun-Earth libration points makes the Sun-Earth L2 an attractive operating location for future observatories. A summary is presented of key characteristics of future observatories designed to operate in this region. The ability to service observatories that operate within the region around the Lagrange points may greatly enhance their reliability, lifetime, and scientific return. The range of servicing missions might begin with initial deployment, assembly, test, and checkout. Post-assembly servicing missions might also include maintenance and repair, critical fluids resupply, and instrument upgrades. We define the range of servicing missions that can be performed with extravehicular activity, with teleoperated robots, and with autonomous robots. We then describe deployment scenarios that affect payload design. A trade study is summarized of the benefits and risks of alternative servicing sites, including at the International Space Station, at other low-Earth-orbit locations, at the Earth-Moon L1 location, and on-site at the Sun-Earth L2 location. Required technology trades and development issues for observatory servicing at each site, and with each level of autonomy, are summarized.

  16. Space-shuttle interfaces/utilization. Earth Observatory Satellite system definition study (EOS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The economic aspects of space shuttle application to a representative Earth Observatory Satellite (EOS) operational mission in the various candidate Shuttle modes of launch, retrieval, and resupply are discussed. System maintenance of the same mission capability using a conventional launch vehicle is also considered. The studies are based on application of sophisticated Monte Carlo mission simulation program developed originally for studies of in-space servicing of a military satellite system. The program has been modified to permit evaluation of space shuttle application to low altitude EOS missions in all three modes. The conclusions generated by the EOS system study are developed.

  17. Spitzer Space Telescope Leads NASA's Great Observatories to Uncover Black Holes and Other Hidden Objects in the Distant Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-06-01

    Astronomers unveiled the deepest images from NASA's new Spitzer Space Telescope today, and announced the detection of distant objects -- including several supermassive black holes -- that are nearly invisible in even the deepest images from telescopes operating at other wavelengths. Mark Dickinson, of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Ariz., and Principal Investigator for the new observations, says, "With these ultra-deep Spitzer images, we are easily seeing objects throughout time and space, out to redshifts of 6 or more, where the most distant known galaxies lie. Moreover, we see some objects that are completely invisible to optical telescopes, but whose existence was hinted at by previous observations from the Chandra and Hubble Observatories." Seven of the objects detected in the Spitzer images may be part of the long-sought population of "missing" supermassive black holes that powered the bright cores of the earliest active galaxies. The discovery finally completes a full accounting of all the X-ray sources seen in one of the deepest surveys of the universe ever taken. This detective story required no less than the combined power of NASA's three Great Observatories in space -- the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Each observatory works with different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, from the high-energy X-rays that Chandra detects, through visible light with Hubble, and into the infrared with Spitzer. The combination of these telescopes yields far more information than any single instrument would. All three telescopes peered out to distances of up to 13 billion light-years toward a small patch of the southern sky containing more than 10,000 galaxies, in a coordinated project called the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (or GOODS, for short). Chandra images detected over two hundred X-ray sources believed to be supermassive black holes lying in the centers of young

  18. Diffraction-limited Polarimetry from the Infrared Imaging Magnetograph at Big Bear Solar Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Wenda; Jing, Ju; Ma, Jun; Xu, Yan; Wang, Haimin; Goode, Philip R.

    2006-06-01

    The Infrared Imaging Magnetograph (IRIM) system developed by Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) has been put into preliminary operation. It is one of the first imaging spectropolarimeters working at 1565 nm and is used for the observations of the Sun at its opacity minimum, exposing the deepest photospheric layers. The tandem system, which includes a 4.2 nm interference filter, a unique 0.25 nm birefringent Lyot filter, and a Fabry-Pérot etalon, is capable of providing a bandpass as low as 0.01 nm in a telecentric configuration. A fixed quarter-wave plate and a nematic liquid crystal variable retarder are employed for analyzing the circular polarization of the Zeeman components. The longitudinal magnetic field is measured for the highly Zeeman-sensitive Fe I line at 1564.85 nm (Landé factor g=3). The polarimetric data were taken through a field of view of ~145''×145'' and were recorded by a 1024×1024 pixel, 14 bit HgCdTe CMOS focal plane array camera. Benefiting from the correlation tracking system and a newly developed adaptive optics system, the first imaging polarimetric observations at 1565 nm were made at the diffraction limit on 2005 July 1 using BBSO's 65 cm telescope. After comparing the magnetograms from IRIM with those taken by the Michelson Doppler Imager on board SOHO, it was found that all the magnetic features matched very well in both sets of magnetograms. In addition, Stokes V profiles obtained from the Fabry-Pérot etalon scan data provide access to both the true magnetic field strength and the filling factor of the small-scale magnetic flux elements. In this paper, we present the design, fabrication, and calibration of IRIM, as well as the results of the first scientific observations.

  19. The first light of the Infrared Imaging Magnetographat Big Bear Solar Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Wenda; Ma, J.; Jing, J.; Xu, Y.; Denker, C.; Wang, H.; Goode, P.

    2006-06-01

    The InfraRed Imaging Magnetograph (IRIM) system developed by Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) has been put into preliminary operation. It is one of the first imaging spectro-polarimeters working at 1565 nm, and is used for the observations of the Sun at its opacity minimum, exposing the deepest photospheric layers. The tandem system of a 4.2 nm interference filter, an unique 0.25 nm birefringent Lyot filter and a Fabry-Perot etalon is capable of providing a bandpass as low as 0.01 nm in a telecentric configuration. A fixed quarter wave plate and a nematic liquid crystal variable retarder are employed for analyzing the circular polarization of the Zeeman components. The longitudinal magnetic field is measured for highly Zeeman-sensitive Fe I line at 1564.85 nm (Lande factor g = 3). The polarimetric data, with a field of view (FOV) 145" × 145", were recorded by a 1024 × 1024 pixel, 14-bit HgCdTe CMOS focal plane array camera. Benefiting from the Correlation Tracking system (CT) and newly developed Adaptive Optics (AO) system, the first imaging polarimetric observations at 1565 nm were made at the diffraction limit on 1 July 2005 using BBSO's 65 cm telescope. After comparing the magnetograms from IRIM with those taken by the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) on board SOHO, it was found that all the magnetic features matched very well in both sets of magnetograms. Also, Stokes V profiles obtained from the Fabry-Perot etalon scanning data provide access to both the true magnetic field strength and filling factor of the small-scale magnetic flux elements. In this paper, we present the design, fabrication, and calibration of IRIM, as well as the results of the first scientific observations.

  20. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) as seen with the Herschel Space Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiss, Cs.; Müller, T. G.; Kidger, M.; Mattisson, P.; Marton, G.

    2015-02-01

    The thermal emission of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) was observed on March 31, 2013, at a heliocentric distance of 6.48 au using the PACS photometer camera of the Herschel Space Observatory. The comet was clearly active, showing a coma that could be traced to a distance of ~10'', i.e. ~50 000 km. Analysis of the radial intensity profiles of the coma provided a dust mass and dust production rate and the derived grain size distribution characteristics indicate an overabundance of large grains in the thermal emission. We estimate that activity started about 6 months before these observations at a heliocentric distance of ~8 au. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-lead Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  1. Irish astronomers eager to use European gamma-ray space observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-09-01

    Space observatories are today helping astronomers discover and understand the furthest reaches of the Universe. But the origin of gamma-ray bursts, brief but extremely powerful explosions, is still one of the great cosmic mysteries. INTEGRAL will be a space observatory whose objective is to gather gamma rays, the most energetic radiation that comes from space, pinpointing and studying their sources with an unprecedented resolution and sensitivity. In addition to tracking down gamma-ray bursts, the observatory will bring much new information on stellar explosions, black holes and the formation of elements. With no other dedicated gamma-ray mission on the horizon, the world's scientists are eagerly awaiting the start of the mission, just 12 months away. Ireland's astronomers and astrophysicists will be privileged users. Professor Brian McBreen of University College Dublin, and Professor Evert Meurs of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and Director of Dunsink Observatory, are both co-investigators for the Optical Monitor Camera (OMC), one of INTEGRAL's four science instruments. Their teams have also contributed to the science analysis software to be used at the INTEGRAL Science Data Centre (ISDC). Professor McBreen, an authority in the field of gamma-ray bursts, was one of the founding fathers of the project in the 1980s that subsequently led to INTEGRAL. The spacecraft is currently undergoing environmental tests at ESA's Technical and Research Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. The launch, on a Russian Proton rocket from Baïkonour, is scheduled for October 2002. Speakers at the press conference will include , Ireland's Minister for Commerce, Science and Technology Mr. Noel Treacy, the President of RIA Professor T.D. Spearman, and Professor David Southwood, Director of Science at the European Space Agency and the Irish co-investigators.

  2. The National Solar Observatory Digital Library - a resource for space weather studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, F.; Erdwurm, W.; Branston, D.; McGraw, R.

    2000-09-01

    We describe the National Solar Observatory Digital Library (NSODL), consisting of 200GB of on-line archived solar data, a RDBMS search engine, and an Internet HTML-form user interface. The NSODL is open to all users and provides simple access to solar physics data of basic importance for space weather research and forecasting, heliospheric research, and education. The NSODL can be accessed at the URL www.nso.noao.edu/diglib.

  3. Space-Time Coordinate Metadata for the Virtual Observatory Version 1.33

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rots, A. H.; Rots, A. H.

    2007-10-01

    This document provides a complete design description of the Space-Time Coordinate (STC) metadata for the Virtual Observatory. It explains the various components, highlights some implementation considerations, presents a complete set of UML diagrams, and discusses the relation between STC and certain other parts of the Data Model. Two serializations are discussed: XML Schema (STC-X) and String (STC-S); the former is an integral part of this Recommendation.

  4. Go-ahead for ESA's new millennium space observatories Planck and FIRST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-03-01

    by a Consortium of about 20 institutes led by Reno Mandolesi of the Istituto di Tecnologie e Studio delle Radiazioni Extraterrestri in Bologna (Italy). FIRST, the "Far InfraRed and Submillimetre Telescope", is the successor of ESA's Infrared Space Observatory ISO. It will be more powerful than any of its predecessors, with a primary mirror of 3.5 metres in diameter - the largest ever for an infrared space telescope. It will observe at wavelength's range never covered before (from 80 to 670 microns). Like Planck, it will be located about 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth. FIRST will look for planetary systems and study processes like the evolution of galaxies in the early universe. It will provide very detailed information about the coldest objects in the Universe, and those enshrouded by dust. The pre-stellar cores from which the stars hatch at nearly minus 260 degrees C, or the dusty distant galaxies undergoing violent collisions are some examples. Also, FIRST will show the composition, temperature, density and motion of the gas and dust of the clouds in the interstellar space. Its payload will consist of three instruments: two cameras called PACS and SPIRE, and HIFI, a high-resolution spectrometer. "They are real technological challenges. Instruments like these have never been used in a space telescope", says FIRST Project Scientist Goeran Pilbratt, at ESA/ESTEC. To avoid the "noise" caused by the emission of the instruments themselves, a cryostat full of superfluid liquid helium will cool them down to a temperature below minus 271 degrees C, very close to the absolute zero (at -273 degrees C). The Heterodyne Instrument for FIRST (HIFI) takes very high resolution spectra of the astronomical objects in thousands of frequencies simultaneously. It will be designed and built by a consortium led by Thijs de Graauw, SRON, Groningen, in The Netherlands. The Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) instrument is an infrared camera and a spectrometer that

  5. Report On Fiducial Points At The Space Geodesy Based Cagliari Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banni, A.; Buffa, F.; Falchi, E.; Sanna, G.

    At the present time two research groups are engaged to space-geodesy activities in Sardinia: a staff belonging to the Stazione Astronomica of Cagliari (SAC) and the To- pography Section of the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale (DIST) of the Cagliari University. The two groups have a share in international campaigns and services. The local structure, consists of permanent stations of satellite observation both on radio and laser techniques. Particularly in the Cagliari Observatory a Satellite Laser Ranging system runs with nearly daily, low, medium and high orbit satellite tracking capability (e. g. Topex, Ajisai, Lageos1/2, Glonass); up to this time the Cagliari laser station has contributed towards the following international campaigns/organizations. Besides in the Observatory's site a fixed GPS system, belonging the Italian Space Agency GPS- Network and to the IGS-Network; and a GPS+GLONASS system, acquired by DIST and belonging to the IGLOS are installed and managed. All the above stations are furnished with meteorological sensors with RINEX format data dissemination avail- ability. Moreover a new 64 meters dish radio telescope (Sardinian Radio Telescope), geodetic VLBI equipped, is under construction not long away from the Observatory. The poster fully shows the facilities and furnishes a complete report on the mark- ers eccentricities, allowing co-location of the different space techniques operating in Sardinia.

  6. Diverse Electron-Induced Optical Emissions from Space Observatory Materials at Low Temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dennison, J.R.; Jensen, Amberly Evans; Wilson, Gregory; Dekany, Justin; Bowers, Charles W.; Meloy, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Electron irradiation experiments have investigated the diverse electron-induced optical and electrical signatures observed in ground-based tests of various space observatory materials at low temperature. Three types of light emission were observed: (i); long-duration cathodoluminescence which persisted as long as the electron beam was on (ii) short-duration (<1 s) arcing, resulting from electrostatic discharge; and (iii) intermediate-duration (100 s) glow-termed "flares". We discuss how the electron currents and arcing-as well as light emission absolute intensity and frequency-depend on electron beam energy, power, and flux and the temperature and thickness of different bulk (polyimides, epoxy resins, and silica glasses) and composite dielectric materials (disordered SiO2 thin films, carbon- and fiberglass-epoxy composites, and macroscopically-conductive carbon-loaded polyimides). We conclude that electron-induced optical emissions resulting from interactions between observatory materials and the space environment electron flux can, in specific circumstances, make significant contributions to the stray light background that could possibly adversely affect the performance of space-based observatories.

  7. The World Space Observatory–UV Project as a Tool for Exoplanet Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shustov, Boris M.; Sachkov, Mikhail E.; Bisikalo, Dmitry V.; de Castro, Ana-Ines Gómez

    During last three decades, astronomers have had practically continuous access to the 100-300 nm spectral range that is unreachable with ground-based instruments but where astrophysical processes can be efficiently studied with unprecedented capability. The successful International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) observatory, Russian ASTRON mission and successor instruments such as the COS and STIS spectrographs on-board the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) demonstrate the major impact that observations in the UV wavelength range have had on modern astronomy. Many exoplanetary studies have been performed in the UV domain, both Far-UV and Near-UV. This spectral region contains many resonance lines of common elements, including Ly α, which provided a unique possibility to study physical and chemical properties of planetary atmospheres. Future access to space-based observatories is expected to be very limited. For the next decade, the post-HST era, the World Space Observatory UltraViolet (WSO-UV) will be the only large telescope class mission for UV observations, both spectroscopic and imaging. In its potential, the WSO-UV mission is similar to the HST, but all the observing time will be available for UV astronomy. In this chapter, we briefly outline the WSO-UV mission model, instrumentation description, science management plan as well as some of the key science issues that WSO-UV will address during its lifetime. This information should help exoplanet researchers to start to prepare their future observations with WSO-UV.

  8. Novel far-infrared detectors for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perera, A. G. Unil; Shen, W. Z.; Liu, Hui C.; Buchanan, Margaret; Schaff, William J.

    1999-04-01

    The recent development of p-GaAs homojunction interfacial workfunction internal photoemission (HIWIP) far-infrared (> 40 micrometers ) detectors for space application is reported. The emphasis is placed on the detector performance, which includes responsivity, quantum efficiency, bias effects, cutoff wavelength, uniformity, crosstalk, and noise. The results are promising and show that p-GaAs HIWIP detectors have high potential to become a strong competitor in far- infrared space applications.

  9. Grand Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Eric W.

    2002-01-01

    Various concepts have been recently presented for a 100 m class astronomical observatory. The science virtues of such an observatory are many: resolving planets orbiting around other stars, resolving the surface features of other stars, extending our temporal reach back toward the beginning (at and before stellar and galactic development), improving on the Next Generation Space Telescope, and other (perhaps as yet) undiscovered purposes. This observatory would be a general facility instrument with wide spectral range from at least the near ultraviolet to the mid infrared. The concept espoused here is based on a practical, modular design located in a place where temperatures remain (and instruments could operate) within several degrees of absolute zero with no shielding or cooling. This location is the bottom of a crater located near the north or south pole of the moon, most probably the South Polar Depression. In such a location the telescope would never see the sun or the earth, hence the profound cold and absence of stray light. The ideal nature of this location is elaborated herein. It is envisioned that this observatory would be assembled and maintained remotely through the use of expert robotic systems. A base station would be located above the crater rim with (at least occasional) direct line-of-sight access to the earth. Certainly it would be advantageous, but not absolutely essential, to have humans travel to the site to deal with unexpected contingencies. Further, observers and their teams could eventually travel there for extended observational campaigns. Educational activities, in general, could be furthered thru extended human presence. Even recreational visitors and long term habitation might follow.

  10. The international space station as an observatory for cosmic-ray physics and astrophysics

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, W. Vernon

    1999-01-22

    The International Space Station is an ideal platform for observing cosmic rays. Furthermore, it can readily accommodate the instrumentation needed to address all of the top-priority science objectives identified in 1995 by the National Academy of Sciences for 'Plasma Processes that Accelerate Very Energetic Particles and Control Their Propagation'. These objectives are synergistic in their pursuit of the illusive goal of understanding the origin, acceleration, and propagation of the cosmic radiation. A distributed observatory on the International Space Station may be the key to answering this long-standing question in the first decade of the new millennium.

  11. Space Infrared Astronomy in the 21st Century

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mather, John C.; Fisher, Richard (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    New technology and design approaches have enabled revolutionary improvements in astronomical observations from space. Worldwide plans and dreams include orders of magnitude growth in sensitivity and resolution for all wavelength ranges, and would give the ability to learn our history, from the Big Bang to the conditions for life on Earth. The Next Generation Space Telescope, for example, will be able to see the most distant galaxies as they were being assembled from tiny fragments. It will be 1/4 as massive as the Hubble, with a mirror 3 times as large, cooled to about 30 Kelvin to image infrared radiation. I will discuss plans for NGST and hopes for future large space telescopes, ranging from the Space UV Optical (SUVO) telescope to the Filled Aperture Infrared (FAIR) Telescope, the Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT), and the Submillimeter Probe of the Evolution of Cosmic Structure (SPECS).

  12. A Global Upper Atmosphere Observatory Using of Lidar on the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clemmons, J. H.; Beck, S. M.; Hecht, J. H.; Corey, C. F.; McLeroy, J. C.; Ferrone, K. L.; Spann, J. F.; Swenson, G. R.; Janches, D.; Giles, B.; Krainak, M.; Yu, A.; Jones, S.

    2014-01-01

    A concept for hosting a lidar facility for the upper atmosphere on the International Space Station (ISS) is presented and discussed. The concept is based on utilizing an existing Large Space Optics mirror having a 2.37-m aperture as the primary mirror in its receiver. This large aperture provides for hosting several transmitter systems to retrieve density, temperature, and wind measurements for several upper atmospheric species. Thus the concept provides for measurements over a wide altitude range (80-600 km), at various time and spatial resolutions, and hosting on the ISS provides nearly global coverage. The baseline concept includes transmitters and receivers for atomic oxygen (80-500 km), metastable helium (400-600 km), and sodium (80-110 km). The facility is conceived as being flexible such that other transmitter/receiver systems could be added to allow the possibility of other species to be studied, such as iron. The presentation discusses the transformative science that would be gained by such an observatory by combining the nearly global coverage afforded by the ISS orbit with the extension of powerful lidar techniques to high altitudes. The challenges in realizing such an observatory are discussed, as are current plans and partnerships to meet those challenges. The presentation also reports on the development status of several components, primarily various independent transmitter/receiver systems, that are under consideration for the baseline observatory. Several institutions are performing these developments.

  13. NASA Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program Evaluation Results To Date

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harman, Pamela K.; Backman, Dana E.; Clark, Coral

    2015-08-01

    SOFIA is an airborne observatory, capable of making observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest ground-based telescopes, and inspires instrumention development.SOFIA is an 80% - 20% partnership of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), consisting of a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft carrying a diameter of 2.5 meters (100 inches) reflecting telescope. The SOFIA aircraft is based at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Building 703, in Palmdale, California. The Science Program Office and Outreach Office is located at NASA Ames Research center. SOFIA is one of the programs in NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Astrophysics Division.SOFIA will be used to study many different kinds of astronomical objects and phenomena, including star birth and death, formation of new solar systems, identification of complex molecules in space, planets, comets and asteroids in our solar system, nebulae and dust in galaxies, and ecosystems of galaxies.Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program:The SOFIA Education and Communications program exploits the unique attributes of airborne astronomy to contribute to national goals for the reform of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and to the elevation of public scientific and technical literacy.SOFIA’s Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) effort is a professional development program aspiring to improve teaching, inspire students, and inform the community. To date, 55 educators from 21 states; in three cohorts, Cycles 0, 1 and 2; have completed their astronomy professional development and their SOFIA science flight experience. Cycle 3 cohort of 28 educators will be completing their flight experience this fall. Evaluation has confirmed the program’s positive impact on the teacher participants, on their students, and in their communities. Teachers have incorporated content knowledge and specific components of their experience into their curricula, and have given hundreds of presentations and

  14. 1024 × 1024 HgCdTe CMOS camera for infrared imaging magnetograph of Big Bear Solar Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, W.; Xu, Y.; Denker, C.; Wang, H.

    2005-08-01

    The InfraRed Imaging Magnetograph (IRIM)1,2 is a two-dimensional narrow-band solar spectro-polarimeter currently being developed at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO). It works in the near infrared (NIR) from 1.0 μm to 1.7 μm and possesses high temporal resolution, high spatial resolution, high spectral resolving power, high magnetic sensitivity. As the detector of IRIM, the 1024 × 1024 HgCdTe TCM8600 CMOS camera manufactured by the Rockwell Scientific Company plays a very important role in acquiring the high precision solar spectropolarimetry data. In order to make the best use of it for solar observation, the characteristic evaluation was carried out at BBSO and National Solar Observatory (NSO), Sacramento Peak in October 2003. The paper presents a series of measured performance parameters including linearity, readout noise, gain, full well capacity, hot pixels, dark, flat field, frame rate, vacuum, low temperature control, etc., and shows some solar infrared narrow band imaging observation results.

  15. Telescope Technology Development Results for a Space-Based Gravitational-Wave Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livas, Jeffrey C.; Sankar, Shannon R.

    2016-01-01

    Space-based Gravitational-wave Observatories will enable the systematic study of the low-frequency band (0.0001 - 1 Hz) of gravitational waves, where a rich array of astrophysical sources is expected. Optical telescopes play an important role in these observatories by enabling displacement measurements between pairs of freely falling proof masses. The telescopes deliver laser light efficiently from one sciencecraft to another over million-kilometer scale separations and must transmit and receive light simultaneously. Transmitting and receiving at the same time puts tight constraints on the scattered light performance. In addition, the required displacement measurement accuracy requires ~ 1 pm/√Hz pathlength stability through the telescope in the measurement band. We report preliminary measurements on a prototype telescope.This work was funded in part by NASA SAT grant 11-SAT11-0027.

  16. The Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT): The Mission Design Solution Space and the Art of the Possible

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leisawitz, David; Hyde, T. Tupper; Rinehart, Stephen A.; Weiss, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Although the Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT) was studied as a candidate NASA Origins Probe mission, the real world presents a broader set of options, pressures, and constraints. Fundamentally, SPIRIT is a far-IR observatory for high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy designed to address a variety of compelling scientific questions. How do planetary systems form from protostellar disks, dousing some planets in water while leaving others dry? Where do planets form, and why are some ice giants while others are rocky? How did high-redshift galaxies form and merge to form the present-day population of galaxies? This paper takes a pragmatic look at the mission design solution space for SPIRIT, presents Probe-class and facility-class mission scenarios, and describes optional design changes. The costs and benefits of various mission design alternatives are roughly evaluated, giving a basis for further study and to serve as guidance to policy makers.

  17. Earth Observatory Satellite system definition study. Report no. 6: Space shuttle interfaces/utilization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The impacts of achieving compatibility of the Earth Observatory Satellite (EOS) with the space shuttle and the potential benefits of space shuttle utilization are discussed. Mission requirements and mission suitability, including the effects of multiple spacecraft missions, are addressed for the full spectrum of the missions. Design impact is assessed primarily against Mission B, but unique requirements reflected by Mission A, B, and C are addressed. The preliminary results indicated that the resupply mission had the most pronounced impact on spacecraft design and cost. Program costs are developed for the design changes necessary to achieve EOS-B compatibility with Space Shuttle operations. Non-recurring and recurring unit costs are determined, including development, test, ground support and logistics, and integration efforts. Mission suitability is addressed in terms of performance, volume, and center of gravity compatibility with both space shuttle and conventional launch vehicle capabilities.

  18. An Engineering Design Reference Mission for a Future Large-Aperture UVOIR Space Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thronson, Harley A.; Bolcar, Matthew R.; Clampin, Mark; Crooke, Julie A.; Redding, David; Rioux, Norman; Stahl, H. Philip

    2016-01-01

    From the 2010 NRC Decadal Survey and the NASA Thirty-Year Roadmap, Enduring Quests, Daring Visions, to the recent AURA report, From Cosmic Birth to Living Earths, multiple community assessments have recommended development of a large-aperture UVOIR space observatory capable of achieving a broad range of compelling scientific goals. Of these priority science goals, the most technically challenging is the search for spectroscopic biomarkers in the atmospheres of exoplanets in the solar neighborhood. Here we present an engineering design reference mission (EDRM) for the Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST), which was conceived from the start as capable of breakthrough science paired with an emphasis on cost control and cost effectiveness. An EDRM allows the engineering design trade space to be explored in depth to determine what are the most demanding requirements and where there are opportunities for margin against requirements. Our joint NASA GSFC/JPL/MSFC/STScI study team has used community-provided science goals to derive mission needs, requirements, and candidate mission architectures for a future large-aperture, non-cryogenic UVOIR space observatory. The ATLAST observatory is designed to operate at a Sun-Earth L2 orbit, which provides a stable thermal environment and excellent field of regard. Our reference designs have emphasized a serviceable 36-segment 9.2 m aperture telescope that stows within a five-meter diameter launch vehicle fairing. As part of our cost-management effort, this particular reference mission builds upon the engineering design for JWST. Moreover, it is scalable to a variety of launch vehicle fairings. Performance needs developed under the study are traceable to a variety of additional reference designs, including options for a monolithic primary mirror.

  19. Space Station Freedom - Its role as an international research laboratory and observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griner, Carolyn

    1989-01-01

    The international partnership agreed to just a year ago among the United States, Canada, Japan and nations participating in the European Space Agency bring us one giant leap closer to unprecedented opportunities in space science and observation. While the driving force of Space Station Freedom has been and continues to be an expansion of human presence in space, the goals of the program go far beyond support of exploration. Integral to the international program is research, conducted on four spacecraft, centering on laboratory and observatory experiments. Research onboard the station's manned base, two polar orbiting observation platforms and the Columbus Free Flying Laboratory will offer research opportunities never available before in life sciences, materials sciences, earth observation, astrophysics and planetary sciences for a wide variety of users over a period of three decades. As such, Space Station Freedom, the world's largest and most useful facility in space, is expected to stimulate advanced technologies, promote the commercial use of space, and increase international cooperation in the peaceful utilization of outer space.

  20. A Future Large-Aperture UVOIR Space Observatory: Key Technologies and Capabilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bolcar, Matthew Ryan; Stahle, Carl M.; Balasubramaniam, Kunjithapatham; Clampin, Mark; Feinberg, Lee D.; Mosier, Gary E.; Quijada, Manuel A.; Rauscher, Bernard J.; Redding, David C.; Rioux, Norman M.; Shaklan, Stuart B.; Stahl, H. Philip; Thronson, Harley A.

    2015-01-01

    We present the key technologies and capabilities that will enable a future, large-aperture ultravioletopticalinfrared (UVOIR) space observatory. These include starlight suppression systems, vibration isolation and control systems, lightweight mirror segments, detector systems, and mirror coatings. These capabilities will provide major advances over current and near-future observatories for sensitivity, angular resolution, and starlight suppression. The goals adopted in our study for the starlight suppression system are 10-10 contrast with an inner working angle of 20 milliarcsec and broad bandpass. We estimate that a vibration and isolation control system that achieves a total system vibration isolation of 140 dB for a vibration-isolated mass of 5000 kg is required to achieve the high wavefront error stability needed for exoplanet coronagraphy. Technology challenges for lightweight mirror segments include diffraction-limited optical quality and high wavefront error stability as well as low cost, low mass, and rapid fabrication. Key challenges for the detector systems include visible-blind, high quantum efficiency UV arrays, photon counting visible and NIR arrays for coronagraphic spectroscopy and starlight wavefront sensing and control, and detectors with deep full wells with low persistence and radiation tolerance to enable transit imaging and spectroscopy at all wavelengths. Finally, mirror coatings with high reflectivity ( 90), high uniformity ( 1) and low polarization ( 1) that are scalable to large diameter mirror substrates will be essential for ensuring that both high throughput UV observations and high contrast observations can be performed by the same observatory.

  1. Aditya: India’s First Observatory in Space to Study the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nandi, Dibyendu

    2015-08-01

    Recognizing the need and advantages of continuous solar observations from space, and to further its goal of supporting scientific and technological advances, the Indian Space Research Organization is planning India’s first space mission to observe the Sun. Nicknamed Aditya, this ambitious project aims to place a comprehensive solar observatory at the Lagrange point L1 which will allow uninterrupted views of the Sun. The diverse set of instruments being planned to fly onboard this mission includes a visible emission line coronagraph, a solar ultraviolet imaging telescope, high- and low-energy X-ray spectrometers, a plasma analyzer and a particle detector package for in-situ measurements. In this talk I will provide a brief overview of these instruments and discuss the science objectives of this mission.

  2. Constraint-based integration of planning and scheduling for space-based observatory management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muscettola, Nicola; Smith, Steven F.

    1994-01-01

    Progress toward the development of effective, practical solutions to space-based observatory scheduling problems within the HSTS scheduling framework is reported. HSTS was developed and originally applied in the context of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) short-term observation scheduling problem. The work was motivated by the limitations of the current solution and, more generally, by the insufficiency of classical planning and scheduling approaches in this problem context. HSTS has subsequently been used to develop improved heuristic solution techniques in related scheduling domains and is currently being applied to develop a scheduling tool for the upcoming Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS) mission. The salient architectural characteristics of HSTS and their relationship to previous scheduling and AI planning research are summarized. Then, some key problem decomposition techniques underlying the integrated planning and scheduling approach to the HST problem are described; research results indicate that these techniques provide leverage in solving space-based observatory scheduling problems. Finally, more recently developed constraint-posting scheduling procedures and the current SWAS application focus are summarized.

  3. Lessons Learned to Date in Developing the Virtual Space Physics Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornwell, C.; Roberts, D. A.; King, J.; Smith, A.

    2005-12-01

    We now have an operational Virtual Space Physics Observatory that provides users the ability to search for and retrieve data from hundreds of space and solar physics data products based on specific terms or a Google-like interface. Lessons learned in building VSPO include: (a) A very close and highly interactive collaboration between scientists and information technologists in the definition and development of services is essential. (b) Constructing a Data Model acceptable to a broad community is very important but very difficult. Variations in usage are inevitable and must be dealt with through translations; this is especially true for the description of variables within data products. (c) Higher-order queries (searches based on events, positions, comparisons of measurements, etc.) are possible, and have been implemented in various systems; currently we see these as being separate from the basic data finding and retrieval services. (d) Building a Virtual Observatory is often more a matter of the tedious details of product descriptions than an exercise in implementing fancy middleware. Paying a knowledgeable third party to build registries can be more efficient than working directly with providers, and automated tools can help but do not solve all the problems. (e) The success of the VO effort in space and solar physics, as elsewhere, will depend on whether the scientific communities involved use and critique the services so that they will come to meet a real need for the integration of resources to solve new scientific problems of perceived importance.

  4. Coordinated study of Solar-Terrestrial Observatory (STO) payloads on space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, S. T.

    1988-01-01

    Since the publication of the final report of the science study group in October 1984 on the Solar Terrestrial Observatory (STO), its science goals and objectives have been clearly defined and a conceptual design and analysis was carried out by MSFC/NASA. Plans for the possible placing of the STO aboard the Space Station were made. A series of meetings for the STO science study group were held to review the instruments to be placed on the initial STO at Space Station IOC, and the placement of these instruments on the manned space station, polar platform, and the co-orbiting platform. A summary of these initial STO instruments is presented in Section 2. A brief description of the initial plan for the placement of STO instruments is included in Section 3. Finally, in Section 4, the scenario for the operation of the STO is discussed. These results were obtained from the report of the Solar Terrestrial Observatory mini-workshop held at MSFC on 6 June 1985.

  5. The Spitzer Space Telescope's performance: getting the most out of a great observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dodd, Suzanne R.; Levine, Deborah A.

    2006-06-01

    The Spitzer Space Telescope was launched on August 25 th, 2003, and has been operating virtually flawlessly for over two years. The projected cryogenic lifetime for Spitzer is currently 5.5 years, substantially exceeding the required lifetime of 2.5 years and the pre-launch prediction of 5 years. The Spitzer Project has made a singular effort to extend Spitzer's lifetime through operational changes to conserve helium. Additionally, many updates to calibration and scheduling activities have been made in order to maximum the scientific return from Spitzer. Spitzer has met its level one science time requirement of 90%, and routinely exceeds it today. All this has been achieved with an operating budget that is substantially smaller than that of NASA's other Great Observatories. This paper will describe the overall performance of the Spitzer Space Telescope Science Operations System and detail the modifications made to increase both the helium lifetime and the science data return. It will also discuss trades made between performance improvements and cost. Lessons learned which can be applied to future observatory operations will be included in the paper. This work was performed at the California Institute of Technology under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  6. Space-Borne Radio-Sounding Investigations Facilitated by the Virtual Wave Observatory (VWO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benson, Robert F.; Fung, Shing F.; Bilitza,Dieter; Garcia, Leonard N.; Shao, Xi; Galkin, Ivan A.

    2011-01-01

    The goal of the Virtual Wave Observatory (VWO) is to provide userfriendly access to heliophysics wave data. While the VWO initially emphasized the vast quantity of wave data obtained from passive receivers, the VWO infrastructure can also be used to access active sounder data sets. Here we use examples from some half-million Alouette-2, ISIS-1, and ISIS-2 digital topside-sounder ionograms to demonstrate the desirability of such access to the actual ionograms for investigations of both natural and sounder-stimulated plasma-wave phenomena. By this demonstration, we wish to encourage investigators to make other valuable space-borne sounder data sets accessible via the VWO.

  7. Space infrared telescope pointing control system. Automated star pattern recognition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, J. D.; Vanbezooijen, R. W. H.

    1985-01-01

    The Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) is a free flying spacecraft carrying a 1 meter class cryogenically cooled infrared telescope nearly three oders of magnitude most sensitive than the current generation of infrared telescopes. Three automatic target acquisition methods will be presented that are based on the use of an imaging star tracker. The methods are distinguished by the number of guidestars that are required per target, the amount of computational capability necessary, and the time required for the complete acquisition process. Each method is described in detail.

  8. Space imaging infrared optical guidance for autonomous ground vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akiyama, Akira; Kobayashi, Nobuaki; Mutoh, Eiichiro; Kumagai, Hideo; Yamada, Hirofumi; Ishii, Hiromitsu

    2008-08-01

    We have developed the Space Imaging Infrared Optical Guidance for Autonomous Ground Vehicle based on the uncooled infrared camera and focusing technique to detect the objects to be evaded and to set the drive path. For this purpose we made servomotor drive system to control the focus function of the infrared camera lens. To determine the best focus position we use the auto focus image processing of Daubechies wavelet transform technique with 4 terms. From the determined best focus position we transformed it to the distance of the object. We made the aluminum frame ground vehicle to mount the auto focus infrared unit. Its size is 900mm long and 800mm wide. This vehicle mounted Ackerman front steering system and the rear motor drive system. To confirm the guidance ability of the Space Imaging Infrared Optical Guidance for Autonomous Ground Vehicle we had the experiments for the detection ability of the infrared auto focus unit to the actual car on the road and the roadside wall. As a result the auto focus image processing based on the Daubechies wavelet transform technique detects the best focus image clearly and give the depth of the object from the infrared camera unit.

  9. An analysis of water in galactic infrared sources using the NASA Lear Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, L. L.; Hilgeman, T.

    1979-01-01

    The Michelson interferometer system on the NASA Lear Jet Airborne Observatory is described as well as the data reduction procedures. The objects observed (standard stars, M stars, a nebula, planets, and the moon) are discussed and the observing parameters are listed for each flight date. The spectra obtained from these data flights are presented, grouped by class of object.

  10. A Technical Overview and Description of SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kunz, Nans

    2003-01-01

    This paper provides a technical overview of SOFIA, a unique airborne observatory, from an engineering perspective. It will do this by describing several of the systems of this observatory that are common with mountain top ground based observatories but mostly emphasize those more unique features and systems that are required to facilitate world class astronomy from a highly modified Boeing 747-SP flying at Mach 0.84 in the Stratosphere. This paper provides a technical overview of SOFIA by reviewing each of the performance specifications (the level one requirements for development) and describing some of the technical advancements for the telescope as well as the platform required to achieve these performance specifications. The technical advancements involved include mirror technologies, control system features, the telescope suspension system, and the aircraft open port cavity with associated cavity door that opens in flight and tracks the telescope elevation angle. For background this paper will provide a brief programmatic overview of the SOFIA project including the joint project arrangement between the US and Germany (NASA and DLR). Additionally, this paper will describe the up to date status of the development of SOFIA as the Observatory nears the date of the first test flight in the summer of 2004.