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13 September 2011 First results from the Far-ultraviolet Imaging Rocket Experiment (FIRE)
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Abstract
The Far-ultraviolet Imaging Rocket Experiment (FIRE) is a sounding rocket payload that was designed to image the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) from 900-1000A and search for young, hot stars. Selected to match the GALEX mission capabilities, FIRE has a resolution of 8 arcseconds with a 54 arcminute field-of-view. To achieve the desired wavelength limits, FIRE utilized a single parabolic mirror coated with silicon carbide, an indium filter and a detector coated with rubidium bromide. In combination, they gave a throughput of approximately 2% from 900-1000A with a throughput of less than 10-5 at the major source of noise, 1216A Lyman-alpha. To ensure that the 2000A thick indium filter survived launch, the filter and detector were encased in a vacuum canister where the pressure was maintained with a small ion pump and opened after ascent to allow data collection. FIRE launched for the first time on January 28th, 2011 from Poker Flat Research Range in northern Alaska with M51 as a primary target and G191B2B as a calibration target. This flight culminated in the first ever astronomical image taken at the wavelengths of 900-1000A and was successful in all its technology demonstration goals. This paper will describe the scientific motivation, design considerations and initial results.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Brennan Gantner, James Green, Matthew Beasley, Robert Kane, and Ted Schultz "First results from the Far-ultraviolet Imaging Rocket Experiment (FIRE)", Proc. SPIE 8145, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XVII, 81450A (13 September 2011); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.893918
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