The Faint Object infraRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST) is a Facility class Science Instrument.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Terry Herter
Instrument Team Pages: http://forcast.astro.cornell.edu/
FORCAST is a dual-channel mid-infrared camera and spectrograph sensitive from 5 - 40 μm. Each channel
consists of a 256x256 pixel array that yields a 3.4'x3.2' instantaneous field-of-view with 0.768'' pixels, after
distortion correction. The Short Wave Camera (SWC) uses a Si:As blocked-impurity band (BIB) array optimized
for λ < 25 μm, while the Long Wave Camera's (LWC) Si:Sb BIB array is optmized for λ > 25 μm. Observations
can be made through either of the two channels individually or, by use of a dichroic mirror, with both channels
simultaneously across the entire range. Spectroscopy is also possible using a suite of grisms, which provide
coverage from 5 - 40 μm with a low spectral resolution of R = λ/Δλ ≈ 200. (A higher spectral resolution mode
originally planned, with R ≈ 1000, is not available for Cycle 4.)
Examples of FORCAST scientific observations, and summary of specifications
Those intending to submit a SOFIA observing proposal using the instrument should consult the FORCAST Chapter of the SOFIA Observer's Handbook, which contains detailed and up to date information necessary for designing observations.
FORCAST Scientific/Technical Abstract and Additional References
FORCAST instrument (NASA/Tom Tschida)