HAWC+ Science Instrument Team and Abstract
Name of Instrument
HAWC+ - High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera
Far-IR Bolometer Camera and Polarimeter
Δλ = 9–43 microns
Dr. C.D. Dowell
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
HAWC (High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera) is a far-infrared camera and imaging polarimeter designed to cover the 40-300 µm spectral range at the highest possible angular resolution. Its purpose is to provide a sensitive, versatile, and reliable facility imaging and polarization capability for SOFIA's user community during its first operational years.
HAWC will utilize a 64x40 pixel array of bolometer detectors constructed using the backshort-under-grid detector technology developed at Goddard Space Flight Center. The array will be cooled by an adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator and operated at a temperature of ~ 0.1-0.2 K.
Many infrared sources are dusty. Absorption of starlight typically heats the dust grains to temperatures of tens or hundreds of degrees Kelvin where they radiate most of their energy in the far infrared, at wavelengths of 40-300 µm that are inaccessible from the ground. Imagery in this spectral range with the highest possible spatial resolution is the natural starting point from which to develop an understanding of source energetics and morphology. It is also a key to understanding the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium.
The existence of interstellar magnetic fields influences a number of key astrophysical processes from star-formation to turbulence. The radiation from the interstellar dust grains observed by HAWC exhibits a net polarization due to the alignment of their long axes perpendicular to the B-field. HAWC will measure the strength and orientation of this polarization in order to understand the geometry and strength of the B-fields, their influence on the ISM and test models of the grain alignment.
Use when citing SOFIA/HAWC+ results.