The advent of large format (~100 pixel) spectroscopic imaging cameras at submillimeter wavelengths would fundamentally change the way in which astronomy is performed in this important wavelength regime. While the possibility of such instruments has been discussed for more than two decades, only recently have advances in mixer technology, device fabrication, micromachining, digital signal processing, and telescope design made the construction of such an instrument possible and economical. In our paper, we will present the design concept for a
10×10 heterodyne camera.
A novel cryogenic grating spectrometer (FCAS) is being designed for observations of volatiles in cometary and planetary atmospheres, and in newly forming planetary systems. The instrument features two-dimensional detector arrays coupled to a high-dispersion echelle by infrared fibers, and will achieve a spectral resolving power of about 40,000. The primary observational platform for this instrument will be the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, but it will also be configured for use at ground-based observatories. Initially, the spectrometer will use a 58 x 62, 1- to 5-micron InSb array. Larger-format IR arrays and arrays of different composition, will later be incorporated as they become available. The instrument will be used in two modes. The first uses a large format IR array in the spectral image plane for the customary one-dimensional spectral-one-dimensional spatial coverage. In the second mode, a massive, coherent bundle of infrared transmitting ZrF4 fibers will be installed after the dispersive element, to reformat the two-dimensional array into an elongated one-dimensional array for wide spectral coverage, allowing multiple lines to be measured in a single integration with high sensitivity. The overall instrument design is discussed, and the system sensitivity is estimated.