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SPICA—A Large Cryogenic Infrared Space Telescope: Unveiling the Obscured Universe

Roelfsema, P. R. and Armus, L. and Bradford, C. M. (2018) SPICA—A Large Cryogenic Infrared Space Telescope: Unveiling the Obscured Universe. Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 35 . Art. No. e030. ISSN 1323-3580. doi:10.1017/pasa.2018.15.

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Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity. SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions. SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10^(−20) W m^(−2) (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Paper
Armus, L.0000-0003-3498-2973
Bradford, C. M.0000-0001-5261-7094
Additional Information:© 2018 Astronomical Society of Australia. Published online: 28 August 2018. This paper is dedicated to the memory of Bruce Swinyard and Roel Gathier. Bruce initiated the SPICA project in Europe, but sadly died on 22 May 2015 at the age of 52. He was ISO-LWS calibration scientist, Herschel-SPIRE instrument scientist, first European PI of SPICA and first design lead of SAFARI. Roel was managing director of SRON until early 2016 when he died after a short sickbed on 14 March 2016. Roel also was head of the Dutch delegation in the Science Programme Committee (SPC) and later SPC chairman. He was crucial in giving and generating support for the SPICA mission in the Netherlands, but also throughout Europe, Japan and north America. The SAFARI project in the Netherlands is financially supported through NWO grant for Large Scale Scientific Infrastructure nr 184.032.209 and NWO PIPP grant NWOPI 11004. The TES detector development work for SAFARI has received support from the European Space Agency (ESA) TRP program (contract number 22359/09/NL/CP). FN and JTR acknowledge financial support through Spanish grant ESP2015-65597-C4-1-R (MINECO/FEDER).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)184.032.209
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)NWOPI 11004
European Space Agency (ESA)22359/09/NL/CP
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)ESP2015-65597-C4-1-R
Subject Keywords:infrared: galaxies – infrared: general – infrared: planetary systems – instrumentation: photometers – instrumentation: spectrographs – space vehicles: instruments
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180906-073742934
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Official Citation:Roelfsema, P., Shibai, H., Armus, L., Arrazola, D., Audard, M., Audley, M., . . . Yamamura, I. (2018). SPICA—A Large Cryogenic Infrared Space Telescope: Unveiling the Obscured Universe. Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 35, E030. doi:10.1017/pasa.2018.15
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:89408
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 Sep 2018 16:33
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:35

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