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Proceedings Paper

SOFIA in operation: status of the telescope in-flight commissioning
Author(s): Hans J. Kärcher; Alfred Krabbe; Jörg Wagner; Christian Engfer; Ulrich Lampater; Jürgen Wolf
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Paper Abstract

After 8 years of development, the telescope of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA has been integrated into the aircraft and has just started with the first observation test flights. Due to its rather unique environment in the open port of a Boeing 747SP, the telescope optics of SOFIA is exposed to extreme aero-acoustic excitations. The telescope pointing system is equipped with several design features, such as a vibration isolation system, a flexible body control system and - potentially - active mass dampers, to handle excitations in different frequency ranges. Final performance features of these systems will only be available after the first test flights, which will happen in the first half of 2010. A progress report is presented and describes the recent achievements as well as the status of the telescope, and gives an update of the SOFIA pointing system, and the planned commissioning tests.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 August 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7733, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III, 773338 (6 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856384
Show Author Affiliations
Hans J. Kärcher, MT Mechatronics GmbH (Germany)
Alfred Krabbe, Deutsches SOFIA Institut, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Jörg Wagner, Deutsches SOFIA Institut, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Christian Engfer, SOFIA Airborne Systems Operations Ctr. (United States)
NASA Dryden Flight Research Ctr. (United States)
Ulrich Lampater, SOFIA Airborne Systems Operations Ctr. (United States)
NASA Dryden Flight Research Ctr. (United States)
Jürgen Wolf, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Deutsches SOFIA Institut (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7733:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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