Note: Three first-generation instruments, CASIMIR, SAFIRE, and AIRES were selected for SOFIA, but were halted at different stages of development.
Name of Instrument: SAFIRE - Submillimeter And Far InfraRed Experiment
Instrument type: Imaging Fabry-Perot; Bolometer array spectrometer; 145-655 microns R=100 to 1,900
Principal Investigator: Dr. S. H. Moseley
SAFIRE is a versatile imaging Fabry-Perot spectrograph covering the spectral region from 145 to 655 µm with spectral resolving powers ranging from 5 to 104. The instrument uses two 8 x 32 arrays of bolometers to provide background limited performance for critical science applications. A chain of fixed and tunable fabry-perot filters provide a wide choice of order selection and fixed spectral resolution. The nominal field of view is about 2.7 x 5.3 arc-minutes. This may be effected by the spectral resolution desired and consequent configuration of the instrument.
SAFIRE can determine the energy balance and physical conditions in many important phases of the interstellar and circumstellar environment by imaging these regions in lines arising from molecular, atomic and ionized components, along with the dust emission. These observations are critical to achieving a clear understanding of the process which result in the formation of stars, and which control star formation on a galactic scale in starburst galaxies. SAFIRE can also examine active galactic nuclei, cooling flows in galaxy clusters, circumstellar debris disks, and the chemistry of the outer planets.