The Herschel-Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI)

Th de Graauw, F. P. Helmich, T. G. Phillips, J. Stutzki, E. Caux, N. D. Whyborn, P. Dieleman, P. R. Roelfsema, H. Aarts, R. Assendorp, R. Bachiller, W. Baechtold, A. Barcia, D. A. Beintema, V. Belitsky, A. O. Benz, R. Bieber, A. Boogert, C. Borys, B. BumbleP. Cais, M. Caris, P. Cerulli-Irelli, G. Chattopadhyay, S. Cherednichenko, M. Ciechanowicz, O. Coeur-Joly, C. Comito, A. Cros, A. de Jonge, G. de Lange, B. Delforges, Y. Delorme, T. den Boggende, J. -M. Desbat, C. Diez-Gonzalez, A. M. Di Giorgio, L. Dubbeldam, K. Edwards, M. Eggens, N. Erickson, J. Evers, M. Fich, T. Finn, B. Franke, T. Gaier, C. Gal, J. R. Gao, J. -D. Gallego, S. Gauffre, J. J. Gill, S. Glenz, H. Golstein, H. Goulooze, T. Gunsing, R. Guesten, P. Hartogh, W. A. Hatch, R. Higgins, E. C. Honingh, R. Huisman, B. D. Jackson, H. Jacobs, K. Jacobs, C. Jarchow, H. Javadi, W. Jellema, M. Justen, A. Karpov, C. Kasemann, J. Kawamura, G. Keizer, D. Kester, T. M. Klapwijk, Th. Klein, E. Kollberg, J. Kooi, P. -P. Kooiman, B. Kopf, M. Krause, J. -M. Krieg, C. Kramer, B. Kruizenga, T. Kuhn, W. Laauwen, R. Lai, B. Larsson, H. G. Leduc, C. Leinz, R. H. Lin, R. Liseau, G. S. Liu, A. Loose, I. Lopez-Fernandez, S. Lord, W. Luinge, A. Marston, J. Martin-Pintado, A. Maestrini, F. W. Maiwald, C. McCoey, I. Mehdi, A. Megej, M. Melchior, L. Meinsma, H. Merkel, M. Michalska, C. Monstein, D. Moratschke, P. Morris, H. Muller, J. A. Murphy, A. Naber, E. Natale, W. Nowosielski, F. Nuzzolo, M. Olberg, M. Olbrich, R. Orfei, P. Orleanski, Volker Ossenkopf, T. Peacock, J. C. Pearson, I. Peron, S. Phillip-May, L. Piazzo, P. Planesas, M. Rataj, L. Ravera, C. Risacher, M. Salez, L. A. Samoska, P. Saraceno, R. Schieder, E. Schlecht, F. Schloeder, F. Schmuelling, M. Schultz, K. Schuster, O. Siebertz, H. Smit, R. Szczerba, R. Shipman, E. Steinmetz, J. A. Stern, M. Stokroos, R. Teipen, D. Teyssier, T. Tils, N. Trappe, C. van Baaren, B. -J. van Leeuwen, H. van de Stadt, H. Visser, K. J. Wildeman, C. K. Wafelbakker, J. S. Ward, P. Wesselius, W. Wild, S. Wulff, H. -J. Wunsch, X. Tielens, P. Zaal, H. Zirath, J. Zmuidzinas, F. Zwart

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Aims. This paper describes the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared ( HIFI) that was launched onboard ESA's Herschel Space Observatory in May 2009.

Methods. The instrument is a set of 7 heterodyne receivers that are electronically tuneable, covering 480-1250 GHz with SIS mixers and the 1410-1910 GHz range with hot electron bolometer (HEB) mixers. The local oscillator (LO) subsystem comprises a Ka-band synthesizer followed by 14 chains of frequency multipliers and 2 chains for each frequency band. A pair of auto-correlators and a pair of acousto-optical spectrometers process the two IF signals from the dual-polarization, single-pixel front-ends to provide instantaneous frequency coverage of 2 x 4 GHz, with a set of resolutions (125 kHz to 1 MHz) that are better than 0.1 kms(-1).

Result. After a successful qualification and a pre-launch TB/TV test program, the flight instrument is now in-orbit and completed successfully the commissioning and performance verification phase. The in-orbit performance of the receivers matches the pre-launch sensitivities. We also report on the in-orbit performance of the receivers and some first results of HIFI's operations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL6
Number of pages7
JournalAstronomy & astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • instrumentation: spectrographs
  • methods: observational
  • infrared: general
  • submillimeter: general
  • techniques: spectroscopic

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