Advancing toward far-infrared interferometry in space through coordinated international efforts

D. Leisawitz, A. Baryshev, M. J. Griffin, F. P. Helmich, R. J. Ivison, S. A. Rinehart, G. Savini, H. Shibai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The international far-infrared astrophysics community is eager to follow up Spitzer and Herschel observations with sensitive, high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy, for such measurements are needed to understand merger-driven star formation, Active Galactic Nuclei, chemical enrichment in galaxies, star and planetary system formation, and the development and prevalence of water-bearing planets. Through concerted efforts worldwide, the key enabling technologies are maturing. NASA sponsored the SPIRIT Probe and SPECS flagship-class mission concept studies during the past decade. Experiments involving interferometry testbeds are underway in the UK and the US. With new EU Seventh Framework Programme support, the European community is undertaking science definition studies and investing in enabling technology for a future space far-IR interferometry mission. The Japanese balloon-borne far-IR interferometer FITE is being prepared for its maiden flight, and NASA's BETTII balloon interferometer is under development, with contributions from the UK. This paper reviews recent technical progress, summarizes mission design tradeoffs, and offers a vision for space-based far-IR interferometry involving international collaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments
Subtitle of host publicationInnovative Technologies and Concepts VI
Volume8860
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2013
EventUV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts VI - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 25 Aug 201326 Aug 2013

Conference

ConferenceUV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts VI
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period25/08/1326/08/13

Keywords

  • BETTII
  • Cryogenic optics
  • ESPRIT
  • Far-infrared
  • FIRI
  • FITE
  • IR detectors
  • Spatio-spectral interferometry
  • SPECS
  • SPIRIT

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