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28 June 2006 MegaMIR: a Fizeau thermal infrared camera for the LBTI
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Abstract
The Megapixel Mid-infrared Instrument (MegaMIR) is a proposed Fizeau-mode camera for the Large Binocular Telescope operating at wavelengths between 5 and 28 μm. The camera will be used in conjunction with the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI), a cryogenic optical system that combines the beams from twin 8.4-m telescopes in a phase coherent manner. Unlike other interferometric systems, the co-mounted telescopes on the LBT satisfy the sine condition, providing diffraction-limited resolution over the 40" field of view of the camera. With a 22.8-m baseline, MegaMIR will yield 0.1" angular resolution, making it the highest resolution wide field imager in the thermal infrared for at least the next decade. MegaMIR will utilize a newly developed 1024 x 1024 pixel Si:As detector array that has been optimized for use at high backgrounds. This new detector is a derivative of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) low-background detector. The combination of high angular resolution and wide field imaging will be a unique scientific capability for astronomy. Key benefits will be realized in planetary science, galactic, and extra-galactic astronomy. High angular resolution is essential to disentangle highly complex sources, particularly in star formation regions and external galaxies, and MegaMIR provides this performance over a full field of view. Because of the great impact being made by space observatories like the Spitzer Space Telescope, the number of available targets for study has greatly increased in recent years, and MegaMIR will allow efficient follow up science.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
A. K. Mainzer, Erick Young, John Hong, Phil Hinz, Mike Werner, Varoujan Gorjian, and Michael E. Ressler "MegaMIR: a Fizeau thermal infrared camera for the LBTI", Proc. SPIE 6269, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy, 626910 (28 June 2006); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.670380
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