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HIRMES - A Versatile High Resolution Far-Infrared Spectrometer for SOFIA
Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 9:00am PST
HIRMES (High Resolution Mid-Infrared Spectrometer) brings a new spectroscopic capability to SOFIA, covering the 25 - 122 µm spectral range with resolving powers ranging from 600 to 100,000, with a sensitivity better than 1 x 10^-17 W/m^2 5 sigma in 1 hour. This capability will enable detailed studies of the composition, thermal structure, and kinematics of protoplanetary disks, and will enable a wide range of Galactic studies. I will review the science program that motivated the system design, and describe the technical approaches that have been chosen. The system has been under development since mid-September, and the contracts for major subsystems are being completed. I will review the system as designed during the 6-month Instrument Concept Study. One technical area of particular interest has been the operation of the HIRMES low temperature detectors on SOFIA. I will review the problems that were experienced with HAWC and describe the technical approach we have chosen to avoid these issues. HIRMES will be in integration in about a year, and we plan to deliver the instrument by the end of 2018, so it is time to start thinking up those compelling questions that HIRMES can address on SOFIA.