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Home > Information for Researchers > Science Instrument Suite > FORCAST

Science Instrument Suite

 

EXES
Echelon-Cross -Echelle Spectrograph
FIFI-LS Field Imaging Far-Infrared Line Spectrometer
FLITECAM First Light Infrared Test Experiment CAMera
FORCAST Faint Object InfraRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope
GREAT German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies
HAWC High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera
HIPO High-speed Imaging Photometer for Occultations
 

FORCAST

Name of Instrument: FORCAST -Faint Object InfrRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope
Instrument type: Mid IR Camera
5-40 microns
Principal Investigator: Dr. Terry Herter
Center for Radiophysics & Space Research
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Contact: Joe Adams: jadams@sofia.usra.edu
Instrument Team Pages: http://forcast.astro.cornell.edu/
Contact the SOFIA help-desk

This page provides the contact information for the Instrument Team, and contains the specifications and abstract originally provided by them. Detailed and up to date information about the instrument performance, targeted at SOFIA users, may be found in the FORCAST Chapter of the SOFIA Observer's Handbook.

Scientific/Technical Abstract:

FORCAST is a facility-class, mid/far-infrared camera for SOFIA. The instrument has a short wavelength camera (SWC) that operates from ~5 - 25 µm and a long wavelength camera (LWC) that operates from 25 - 40 µm, with several filters available in both cameras. The cameras can be used individually over the whole wavelength range, or together for simultaneous imaging of the same field of view (FOV) but with restricted wavelength coverage in the SWC of 10 - 25 µm. Using 256x256 Si:As and Si:Sb blocked-impurity-band detector arrays to provide high-sensitivity wide-field imaging, FORCAST samples at 0.75 arcsec/pixel giving a 3.2 arcmin x 3.2 arcmin instantaneous field-of-view. Diffraction limited imaging for λ > 15 µm is expected during full operations. The current filter set includes filters centered at 5.4, 6.4, 6.6, 7.7, 8.6, 11.1, 11.3, 19.7, 24.2, 31.5, 33.6, 34.8, and 37.1 µm. For sufficiently small objects, chopping can be performed on the array. The FORCAST instrument uses mature, low-risk technology ensuring high reliability.

The science projects planned by the investigator team include multicolor imaging of the galactic center, Vega-like dust clouds, and star formation in normal spiral galaxies and active galaxies. This instrument will be of great value to the SOFIA community for imaging protostellar environments, young star clusters, molecular clouds, and galaxies. Multicolor information allows determination of dust temperatures, dust optical depths (and dust masses), dust composition, location of ionizing sources, and the spatial morphology of star forming regions.

Additional References:

Adams et al., "FORCAST: a first light facility instrument for SOFIA," Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, Ian S. McLean, Suzanne K. Ramsay, & Hideki Takami, Editors, Proc. SPIE 7735, 77351U (2010), DOI: 10.1117/12.857049 [pdf]


Keller et al., "Progress report on FORCAST grism spectroscopy as a future general observer instrument mode on SOFIA," Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, Ian S. McLean, Suzanne K. Ramsay, & Hideki Takami, Editors, Proc. SPIE 7735, 77356N (2010), DOI: 10.1117/12.857127 [pdf]


Deen et al., "Quick-look reduction software for FORCAST grism mode on SOFIA," Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, Ian S. McLean, Suzanne K. Ramsay, & Hideki Takami, Editors, Proc. SPIE 7735, 773570 (2010), DOI: 10.1117/12.856608


Deen et al., "A silicon and KRS-5 grism suite for FORCAST on SOFIA," Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, Ian S. McLean & Mark M. Casali, Editors, Proc. SPIE 7014, 70142C (2008), DOI: 10.1117/12.788565 [pdf]


Ennico et al., "Grism performance for mid-IR (5-40 micron) spectroscopy," Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy, Ian S. McLean & Masanori Iye, Editors, Proc. SPIE 6269, 62691Q (2006), DOI: 10.1117/12.672256 [pdf]


Adams et al., "Testing of mid-infrared detector arrays for FORCAST," Optical and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy, James D. Garnett & James W. Beletic, Editors, Proc. SPIE 5499, 442 (2004), DOI: 10.1117/12.551490


Page Last Updated: November 18, 2014
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