Far-infrared imaging and spectroscopic instrumentation

B. M. Swinyard, Wolfgang Wild

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The subject of the design and implementation of infrared space missions is briefly reviewed and the limitations imposed by the needs of requiring cryogenic instruments and telescopes introduced. We give an introduction to direct detection techniques for imaging and spectroscopy and review the current state of the art in instrumentation and detector technology. We discuss the history of space-borne infrared missions dedicated to photometric surveys, imaging and spectroscopy over the 5 μm to 700 μm waveband starting with the ground-breaking IRAS mission launched in 1983 and going up to the latest mission, Herschel, launched in May 2009. This mission also makes use of heterodyne techniques for very high spectral resolution. We review the principle of heterodyne detection and briefly describe the HIFI instrument on Herschel and how it takes the subject of high-resolution spectroscopy into a new era.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Observing Photons in Space
Subtitle of host publicationA guide to experimental space astronomy
EditorsMartin C.E. Huber, Anuschka Pauluhn, J. Len Culhane, J. Gethyn Timothy, Klaus Wilhelm, Alex Zehnder
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4614-7804-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-4614-7803-4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameISSI Scientific Report Series
PublisherSpringer New York

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