Imaging Fourier transform spectroscopy from a space based platform : the Herschel/SPIRE Fourier transform spectrometer

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Spencer, Locke Dean
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
The Herschel Space Observatory (Herschel), a flagship mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), is comprised of three cryogenically cooled instruments commissioned to explore the far-infrared/submillimetre universe. Herschel's remote orbit at the second Lagrangian point (L2) of the Sun-Earth system, and its cryogenic payload, impose a need for thorough instrument characterization and rigorous testing as there will be no possibility for any servicing after launch. The Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) is one of the instrument payloads aboard Herschel and consists of a three band imaging photometer and a two band imaging spectrometer. The imaging spectrometer on SPIRE consists of a Mach-Zehnder (MZ)-Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) coupled with bolometric detector arrays to form an imaging FTS (IFTS). This thesis presents experiments conducted to verify the performance of an IFTS system from a space based platform, i.e. the use of the SPIRE IFTS within the Herschel space observatory. Prior to launch, the SPIRE instrument has undergone a series of performance verification tests conducted at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) near Oxford, UK. Canada is involved in the SPIRE project through provision of instrument development hardware and software, mission flight software, and support personnel. Through this thesis project I have been stationed at RAL for a period spanning fifteen months to participate in the development, performance verification, and characterization of both the SPIRE FTS and photometer instruments. This thesis discusses Fourier transform spectroscopy and related FTS data process ing (Chapter 2). Detailed discussions are included on the spectral phase related to the FTS beamsplitter (Chapter 3), the imaging aspects of the SPIRE IFTS instrument (Chapter 4), and the noise characteristics of the SPIRE bolometer detector arrays as measured using the SPIRE IFTS (Chapter 5). This thesis presents results from experiments performed both on site at the RAL Space Science and Technology Department (SSTD) Assembly Integration Verification (AIV) instrument test facility as well as from the Astronomical Instrumentation Group (AIG) research laboratories within the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Lethbridge.
xxiii, 243 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm
Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPRIRE) , Fourier transform spectroscopy -- Software , Fourier transform spectorscopy , Dissertations, Academic