A Caltech Library Service

The Far Infrared Spectroscopic Explorer (FIRSPEX): probing the lifecycle of the ISM in the universe

Rigopoulou, D. and Caldwell, M. and Ellison, B. and Pearson, C. and Caux, E. and Cooray, A. and Gallego, J. D. and Gerin, M. and Goicoechea, J. R. and Goldsmith, P. and Kramer, C. and Lis, D. C. and Molinari, S. and Ossenkopf-Okada, V. and Savini, G. and Tan, B. K. and Tielens, A. and Viti, S. and Wiedner, M. and Yassin, G. (2016) The Far Infrared Spectroscopic Explorer (FIRSPEX): probing the lifecycle of the ISM in the universe. In: Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave. Proceedings of SPIE. No.9904. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 99042K. ISBN 9781510601871.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The Far Infrared Spectroscopic Explorer (FIRSPEX) is a novel European-led astronomy mission concept developed to enable large area ultra high spectroscopic resolution surveys in the THz regime. FIRSPEX opens up a relatively unexplored spectral and spatial parameter space that will produce an enormously significant scientific legacy by focusing on the properties of the multi-phase ISM, the assembly of molecular clouds in our Galaxy and the onset of star formation; topics which are fundamental to our understanding of galaxy evolution. The mission uses a heterodyne instrument and a ~1.2 m primary antenna to scan large areas of the sky in a number of discreet spectroscopic channels from L2. The FIRSPEX bands centered at [CI] 809 GHz, [NII]1460 GHz, [CII]1900 GHz and [OI]4700 GHz have been carefully selected to target key atomic and ionic fine structure transitions difficult or impossible to access from the ground but fundamental to the study of the multi-phase ISM in the Universe. The need for state-of-the-art sensitivity dictates the use of superconducting mixers configured either as tunnel junctions or hot electron bolometers. This technology requires cooling to low temperatures, approaching 4K, in order to operate. The receivers will operate in double sideband configuration providing a total of 7 pixels on the sky. FIRSPEX will operate from L2 in both survey and pointed mode enabling velocity resolved spectroscopy of large areas of sky as well as targeted observations.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Rigopoulou, D.0000-0001-6854-7545
Pearson, C.0000-0001-6139-649X
Cooray, A.0000-0002-3892-0190
Goldsmith, P.0000-0002-6622-8396
Lis, D. C.0000-0002-0500-4700
Wiedner, M.0000-0003-3912-7095
Additional Information:© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Part of the work presented here has been supported by the John Fell Oxford University Press (OUP) Research Fund. This research was carried out in part at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
John Fell Oxford University Press (OUP) Research FundUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Far-Infrared, millimeter, heterodyne, spectroscopy, space, astrophysics
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:9904
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180709-110848305
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:D. Rigopoulou, M. Caldwell, B. Ellison, C. Pearson, E. Caux, A. Cooray, J. D. Gallego, M. Gerin, J. R. Goicoechea, P. Goldsmith, C. Kramer, D. C. Lis, S. Molinari, V. Ossenkopf-Okada, G. Savini, B. K. Tan, X. Tielens, S. Viti, M. Wiedner, G. Yassin, "The Far Infrared Spectroscopic Explorer (FIRSPEX): probing the lifecycle of the ISM in the universe", Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 99042K (29 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233593;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87643
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:09 Jul 2018 21:01
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:50

Repository Staff Only: item control page