|Name of Instrument:
||FORCAST -Faint Object
InfrRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope
||Mid IR Camera
||Dr. Terry Herter
Center for Radiophysics & Space Research
Ithaca, NY 14853
||Joe Adams: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Instrument Team Pages:
||Contact the SOFIA help-desk
FORCAST is a facility-class, mid/far-infrared camera for SOFIA. The
instrument has a short wavelength camera (SWC) that operates from ~5 - 25 Ám and a
long wavelength camera (LWC) that operates from 25 - 40 Ám, 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 Ám. 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 Ám 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 Ám. 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.
Details about the instrument performance may be found in the FORCAST Chapter of the SOFIA Observer's Handbook.
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),
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),