Sensitive far-IR survey spectroscopy: BLISS for SPICA

C. M. Bradford, Matt Kenyon, Warren Holmes, James Bock, Timothy Koch, P. Day, H. Nguyen, M. Werner, R. Cofield, C. Paine, K. Irwin, M. Harwit, G. Stacey, G. Helou, L. Armus, J. D. Smith, S. Chapman, G. Rieke, D. Lester, T. NakagawaH. Matsuhara, T. Onaka, H. Shibai, M. Tamura

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


We present a concept for BLISS, a sensitive far-IR-submillimeter spectrograph for SPICA. SPICA is a JAXA-led mission featuring a 3.5-meter telescope actively cooled to below 5K, envisioned for launch in 2017. The low-background platform is especially compelling for moderate-resolution survey spectroscopy, for which BLISS is designed. The BLISS / SPICA combination will offer line sensitivities below 10-20Wm-2 in modest integrations, enabling rapid survey spectroscopy of galaxies out to redshift 5. The far-IR fine-structure and molecular transitions which BLISS / SPICA will measure are immune to dust extinction, and will unambiguously reveal these galaxies' redshifts, stellar and AGN contents, gas properties, and heavy-element abundances. Taken together, such spectra will reveal the history of galaxies from 1 GY after the Big Bang to the present day. BLISS is comprised of five sub-bands, each with two R ∼ 700 grating spectrometer modules. The modules are configured with polarizing and dichroic splitters to provide complete instantaneous spectral coverage in two sky positions. To approach background-limited performance, BLISS detectors must have sensitivities at or below 5 × 10-20WHz-1/2, and the format is 10 arrays of several hundred pixels each. It is anticipated that these requirements can be met on SPICA's timescale with leg-isolated superconducting (TES) bolometers cooled with a 50 mK magnetic refrigerator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMillimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy IV
StatePublished - 2008
EventMillimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy IV - Marseille, France
Duration: Jun 26 2008Jun 28 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherMillimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy IV


  • Bolometers
  • Far-IR
  • Spectroscopy

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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