HIRMES: A New High-resolution Mid-infrared Spectrometer for SOFIA

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 15:42 in Astronomy & Space

Cutaway CAD model representation of proposed HIRMES instrument design. (Credit: GSFC HIRMES Instrument Team) Technology Development: NASA is developing a new instrument to expand the boundaries of astronomy research. A team of scientists and technologists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is developing the High-Resolution Mid-Infrared Spectrometer (HIRMES)—an innovative instrument that will enable new scientific investigations and important contributions to our understanding of the cosmos. HIRMES' commissioning is anticipated for late 2018 on NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a heavily modified Boeing 747SP that carries a 2.5m-diameter infrared telescope. SOFIA flies above ~95% of the Earth’s atmospheric water vapor, allowing astronomers to gain access to wavelengths that are not possible to observe from the ground, even with the most powerful groundbased telescopes. HIRMES applies emerging detector and optical technologies tailored to take maximum advantage of the unique platform provided by SOFIA, covering the 25–122-micron spectral range with resolving powers ranging...

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