SOFIA Observer's Handbook for Cycle 3
Observer's Handbook PDF version
Seven instruments are currently being developed for SOFIA. These first-generation instruments include three Facility-class Science Instruments (FSIs), three Principal Investigator-class Science Instruments (PSIs), and one Special Purpose Principal Investigator-class Science Instrument (SSI).
FSIs would be operated and maintained by the SOFIA Science Mission Operations (SMO). There will be a designated Instrument Scientist on the SMO staff for each FSI, who will support General Investigators (GIs) wishing to use the instrument.
PSIs would be developed and maintained at the Principal Investigator's (PI's) institution. The instruments will be operated by the PSI Science Team members. However, there would typically be SOFIA SMO staff designated to provide additional support. In response to proposal calls, potential GIs may propose to use PSIs for their observations without consulting the Instrument PI or the Science Team. However, it is expected that the Instrument Science Teams would be involved in the technical review of the proposed observations, and for accepted proposals in the data acquisition, reduction and calibration.
An SSI is designed for a specific type of observation, and therefore with narrower scope than either FSIs or PSIs. In response to proposal calls, potential GIs may propose to use SSIs, but are required to consult with the Instrument PI and obtain approval for the project before submitting a proposal. It is expected that the Instrument PI will work closely with GIs whose SSI proposal has been accepted.
The table below provides a summary of the seven first-generation SOFIA instruments. This is followed by a figure summarizing suite's spectral resolution and wavelength coverage. Additional information can be found on the web pages for each instrument.
The Current Suite of SOFIA Science Instruments
R=105, 104, or 3000
|| Imaging Grating Spectrometer
||Near-IR Camera and Grism Spectrometer
||Mid-IR Camera and Grism Spectrometer
60 - 240 microns
|HAWC+ High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera and Polarimeter
Photometer for Occultations
0.3 - 1.1 microns
*German instrument contributions
(Click on image for full-size version.)
Three additional first-generation instruments
a heterodyne receiver,
an imaging Fabry-Perot spectrograph and
an echelle spectrometer
were selected for SOFIA, but are currently not under development.
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