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14 September 1994 Far-infrared astronomy from airborne and spaceborne platforms: Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) and Far-Infrared and Submillimeter Space Telescope (FIRST)
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Abstract
Far-infrared (FIR) spectroscopy and photometry provide unique tools to investigate the physical and chemical processes in the moderately warm, dense interstellar medium (ISM) and provide key information about fundamental astrophysical questions like star formation, star burst phenomena, and the formation of galaxies. We describe an imaging Fabry-Perot spectrometer for the Kuiper Airborne Observatory which operates in the wavelength range 40-200 micrometers . It employs 5 X 5 element photoconductive detector arrays and provides spectral resolutions of up to 105. With this instrument we have observed star forming regions and molecular clouds in out Galaxy, the Galactic Center, and the global ISM in external galaxies. The Far Infrared and Submillimeter Space Telescope (FIRST) will open up for study the entire submillimeter and far-infrared band (85-900 micrometers ) including those wavelengths that are inaccessible even from airplanes. Furthermore, it will provide unprecedented angular resolution in the FIR due to its large telescope diameter. It will employ a Multi-Frequency Heterodyne receiver (MFH) and an imaging Far-InfrarRed spectrometer/Spectrophotometer (FIR). The latter instrument will be equipped with multiple Fabry-Perots and photoconductor and bolometer arrays. Its sensitivity and variable spectral resolution will make it suited both for Galactic and extragalactic observations.
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Albrecht Poglitsch "Far-infrared astronomy from airborne and spaceborne platforms: Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) and Far-Infrared and Submillimeter Space Telescope (FIRST)", Proc. SPIE 2268, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing II, (14 September 1994); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.185835
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