FORCAST instrument

Faint Object infraRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST)

FORCAST Chapter of the Cycle 7 Observer's Handbook

Facility class Science Instrument
Principal Investigator:
Terry Herter
Center for Radiophysics & Space Research, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

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.

Examples of FORCAST scientific observations and summary of specifications: FORCAST Flyer

Information applicable to the current observing cycle, Cycle 7, can be found in the FORCAST chapter of the Cycle 7 Observer's HandbookBe sure that you are referencing the correct version of the handbook! 

Primary Reference:
Use when citing SOFIA/FORCAST results.

"FORCAST: A Mid-Infrared Camera for SOFIA"
Herter, et al., 2018, JAI, 7, 1840005-451.
DOI: 10.1142/S2251171718400056; ADS Bibliographic Code: 2018JAI.....740005H

Additional References:

"FORCAST: a first light facility instrument for SOFIA"
Adams et al., 2010, Proc. SPIE, 7735, 77351U.
DOI: 10.1117/12.857049 [pdf]

"Progress Report on FORCAST Grism Spectroscopy as a Future General Observer Instrument Mode on SOFIA"
Keller et al., 2010, ProcSPIE, 7735, 77356N
DOI: 10.1117/12.857127 [pdf]

"Quick-Look Reduction Software for FORCAST Grism Mode on SOFIA,"
Deen et al., 2010, Proc. SPIE, 7735, 773570.
DOI: 10.1117/12.856608

"A Silicon and KRS-5 Grism Suite for FORCAST on SOFIA,"
Deen et al., 2008, Proc. SPIE, 7014, 70142C.
DOI: 10.1117/12.788565 [pdf]

"Grism Performance for Mid-IR (5-40 micron) Spectroscopy"
Ennico et al., 2006, ProcSPIE, 6269, 62691Q.
DOI:10.1117/12.672256 [pdf]

"Testing of Mid-infrared Detector Arrays for FORCAST"
Adams et al., 2004, ProcSPIE, 5499, 442.
DOI: 10.1117/12.551490

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