Realizing integral field spectroscopy in the far-infrared

Leslie W. Looney, Walfried Raab, Albrecht Poglitsch, Norbert Geis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The optical design of an integral field spectrometer for far-infrared observations, the Far-Infrared Field-Imaging Line Spectrometer (FIFI LS), is presented. The instrument will fly on board the joint NASA/DLR airborne observatory SOFIA, observing in two nearly independent wavelength channels simultaneously: a blue channel (40-105 μm) and a red channel (105-210 μm). To achieve instantaneous integral field spectroscopy for the first time in the far-infrared, a novel reflective image slicer system is utilized that slices the 5 × 5 pixel, two-dimensional field of view into a pseudo-long slit of 25 × 1 pixels. The slicer assembly consists of three sets of five mirrors that have optical power, enabling a compact design. After the sky field has been optically rearranged to the pseudoslit, the image is spectrally dispersed in a standard Littrow-mounted reflective grating spectrometer. The practical concerns for the optical design in the far-infrared and, in particular, the significant effect of diffraction in the entire optical system is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-643
Number of pages16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003


  • Instrumentation: spectrographs
  • Techniques: image processing
  • Techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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