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26 September 2013 Flight performance and first results from the sub-orbital local interstellar cloud experiment (SLICE)
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Abstract
We present the flight performance and preliminary science results from the first flight of the Sub-orbital Local Interstellar Cloud Experiment (SLICE). SLICE is a rocket-borne far-ultraviolet instrument designed to study the diffuse interstellar medium. The SLICE payload comprises a Cassegrain telescope with LiF-coated aluminum optics feeding a Rowland Circle spectrograph operating at medium resolution (R ~ 5000) over the 102 – 107 nm bandpass. We present a novel method for cleaning LiF-overcoated Al optics and the instrumental wavelength calibration, while the details of the instrument design and assembly are presented in a companion proceeding (Kane et al. 2013). We focus primarily on first results from the spring 2013 launch of SLICE in this work. SLICE was launched aboard a Terrier-Black Brant IX sounding rocket from White Sands Missile Range to observe four hot stars sampling different interstellar sightlines. The instrument acquired approximately 240 seconds of on-target time for the science spectra. We observe atomic and molecular transitions (HI, OI, CII, OVI, H2) tracing a range of temperatures, ionization states, and molecular fractions in diffuse interstellar clouds. Initial spectral synthesis results and future plans are discussed.
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Kevin France, Nicholas Nell, Keri Hoadley, Robert Kane, Eric B. Burgh, Matthew Beasley, Rachel Bushinksy, Ted B. Schultz, Michael Kaiser, Christopher Moore, Jennifer Kulow, and James C. Green "Flight performance and first results from the sub-orbital local interstellar cloud experiment (SLICE)", Proc. SPIE 8859, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XVIII, 885910 (26 September 2013); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2023400
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