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Published October 12, 2004 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

The infrared spectrograph on the Spitzer Space Telescope


The Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) is one of three science instruments on the Spitzer Space Telescope. The IRS comprises four separate spectrograph modules covering the wavelength range from 5.3 to 38 μm with spectral resolutions, R~90 and 650, and it was optimized to take full advantage of the very low background in the space environment. The IRS is performing at or better than the pre-launch predictions. An autonomous target acquisition capability enables the IRS to locate the mid-infrared centroid of a source, providing the information so that the spacecraft can accurately offset that centroid to a selected slit. This feature is particularly useful when taking spectra of sources with poorly known coordinates. An automated data reduction pipeline has been developed at the Spitzer Science Center.

Additional Information

© 2004 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers. The IRS was a collaborative venture between Cornell University and Ball Aerospace Corporation funded by NASA through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Ames Research Center. The design, fabrication, and testing of the IRS at Ball Aerospace Corporation was supported by a NASA contract awarded by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to Cornell University (JPL contract number 960803). The IRS pipeline was developed at the SSC at the California Institute of Technology under contract to JPL.

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