Far-infrared imager and polarimeter for the Origins Space Telescope

The Origins Space Telescope Mission Concept Study Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The far-infrared imager and polarimeter (FIP) for the Origins Space Telescope (Origins) is a basic far-infrared imager and polarimeter. The camera will deliver continuum images and polarization measurements at 50 and 250 μm. Currently available detector technologies provide sufficient sensitivity for background limited observations from space, at least on a single pixel basis. FIP incorporates large next-generation superconducting detector arrays and our technology development plan will push the pixel numbers for the arrays to the required size of 8000. Two superconducting detector technologies are currently candidates for the instrument: transition edge sensors or microwave kinetic inductance devices. Using these detectors and taking advantage of the cryogenic telescope that is provided by Origins, FIP will achieve mapping speeds of up to eight orders of magnitude faster than what has been achieved by existing observatories. The science drivers for FIP include observations of solar system objects, dust properties, and magnetic field studies of the nearby interstellar medium, and large scale galaxy surveys to better constrain the star formation history of the universe to address one of the main themes of Origins: "How does the Universe work?"In addition to the science, the FIP instrument plays a critical functional role in aligning the mirrors during on orbit observatory commissioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011016
JournalJournal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • astronomy
  • detectors
  • infrared

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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