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Published August 10, 2010 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

The background-limited infrared-submillimeter spectrograph (BLISS) for SPICA: a design study


We are developing the Background-Limited Infrared-Submillimeter Spectrograph (BLISS) for SPICA to provide a breakthrough capability for far-IR survey spectroscopy. SPICAs large cold aperture allows mid-IR to submm observations which are limited only by the natural backgrounds, and BLISS is designed to operate near this fundamental limit. BLISS-SPICA is 6 orders of magnitude faster than the spectrometers on Herschel and SOFIA in obtaining full-band spectra. It enables spectroscopy of dust-obscured galaxies at all epochs back to the rst billion years after the Big Bang (redshift 6), and study of all stages of planet formation in circumstellar disks. BLISS covers 35 - 433 microns range in ve or six wavelength bands, and couples two 2 sky positions simultaneously. The instrument is cooled to 50 mK for optimal sensitivity with an on-board refrigerators. The detector package is 4224 silicon-nitride micro-mesh leg-isolated bolometers with superconducting transition-edge-sensed (TES) thermistors, read out with a cryogenic time-domain multiplexer. All technical elements of BLISS have heritage in mature scientic instruments, and many have own. We report on our design study in which we are optimizing performance while accommodating SPICAs constraints, including the stringent cryogenic mass budget. In particular, we present our progress in the optical design and waveguide spectrometer prototyping. A companion paper in Conference 7741 (Beyer et al.) discusses in greater detail the progress in the BLISS TES bolometer development.

Additional Information

© 2010 SPIE. We thank Jeremy Hodis and Jonathan Kawamura at JPL for help with the WaFIRS spectrometer measurements.

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