Mission Update

FORCAST Camera Installed on SOFIA Telescope
05.12.10
 
Technicians carefully fill the FORCAST camera's dewers with liquid helium to cool the instrument during pre-installation checkout. Ken Bower of USRA and Bill Brown of Lick Observatory carefully fill the FORCAST camera's dewers with liquid helium to cool the instrument during pre-installation checkout.Technicians George Gull and Charlie Kaminski of USRA wheel the FORCAST infrared camera and its associated electronics into place in preparation for its installation on the SOFIA telescope.George Gull of Cornell University and Charlie Kaminski of USRA wheel the FORCAST infrared camera and its associated electronics into place in preparation for its installation on the SOFIA telescope. (NASA Photos / Tony Landis) Cornell University's Faint Object Infrared Camera for the SOFIA Telescope, or FORCAST, was installed on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy's 2.5-meter telescope May 7. The camera will be used to record imagery from the flying telescope's "First Light" mission slated later this month.

One of the first instruments designed for the SOFIA telescope and the first to be installed, FORCAST is a mid-infrared camera that records images at infrared wavelengths of 5 to 40 microns that are used to study celestial objects such as planets and star forming regions.

Prior to installation, liquid nitrogen and liquid helium were poured into FORCAST's dewars in the laboratory to cool the instrument as a basic check of the instrument's flight configuration. The camera will next undergo nighttime, ground-based testing, preparing the telescope that is mounted in the rear fuselage of the highly modified SOFIA 747 aircraft for its "first light" flight scheduled for late this month.

› FORCAST Installation Video
› SOFIA Photo Gallery