Characterization of FLITECAM: The first light camera for SOFIA

A. K. Mainzer, I. S. McLean, T. Aliado, E. E. Becklin, G. Brims, J. Goulter, E. Kress, N. Magnone, J. Milburn, G. Skulason, M. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Preliminary test results are reported for FLITECAM, the First Light Camera for SOFIA. This instrument is designed to perform imaging from 1 to 5 μm over the entire 8 arcmin field of view of SOFIA with 0.47 arcsec pixels. The detector is a 1024 × 1024 InSb array, and large refractive optics are used for collimation and re-imaging. FLITECAM also has a pupil-viewing mode optimized for 3.5 μm and can accommodate grisms for slit spectroscopy. The instrument has passed Critical Airworthiness Design Review and has received the first part of its certificate of conformity. Ground-based tests of the finished instrument are planned for later in 2002 at the Lick Observatory 3-m Shane Telescope to verify that the point spread function meets its required FWHM of 1 arcsec over the full field and wavelength range. FLITECAM will be used to test the image quality and background of the SOFIA telescope, as well as for science applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventAirborne Telescope Systems II - Waikoloa, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 27 2002Aug 28 2002


  • Airborne astronomy
  • Cryogenic
  • Imaging
  • Infrared

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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