The Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT): Mission study results

David Leisawitz, Charles Baker, Amy Barger, Dominic Benford, Andrew Blain, Rob Boyle, Richard Broderick, Jason Budinoff, John Carpenter, Richard Caverly, Phil Chen, Steve Cooley, Christine Cottingham, Julie Crooke, Dave DiPietro, Mike DiPirro, Michael Femiano, Art Ferrer, Jackie Fischer, Jonathan GardnerLou Hallock, Kenny Harris, Kate Hartman, Martin Harwit, Lynne Hillenbrand, Tupper Hyde, Drew Jones, Jim Kellogg, Alan Kogut, Marc Kuchner, Bill Lawson, Javier Lecha, Maria Lecha, Amy Mainzer, Jim Mannion, Anthony Martino, Paul Mason, John Mather, Gibran Mcdonald, Rick Mills, Lee Mundy, Stan Ollendorf, Joe Pellicciotti, Dave Quinn, Kirk Rhee, Stephen Rinehart, Tim Sauerwine, Robert Silverberg, Terry Smith, Gordon Stacey, H. Philip Stahl, Johannes Staguhn, Steve Tompkins, June Tveekrem, Sheila Wall, Mark Wilson

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

6 Scopus citations


We report results of a recently-completed pre-Formulation Phase study of SPIRIT, a candidate NASA Origins arobe mission. SPIRIT is a spatial and spectral interferometer with an operating wavelength range 25 - 400μm. SPIRIT will provide sub-arcsecond resolution images and spectra with resolution R = 3000 in a 1 arcmin field of view to accomplish three primary scientific objectives: (1) Learn how planetary systems form from protostellar disks, and how they acquire their chemical organization; (2) Characterize the family of extrasolar planetary systems by imaging the structure in debris disks to understand how and where planets form, and why some planets are ice giants and others are rocky; and (3) Learn how high-redshift galaxies formed and merged to form the present-day population of galaxies. Observations with SPIRIT will be complementary to those of the James Webb Space Telescope and the ground-based Atacama Large Millimeter Array. All three observatories could be operational contemporaneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation I
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: May 24 2006May 31 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume6265 II
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


  • Cryogenic optics
  • Infrared
  • Infrared detectors
  • Interferometry
  • Origins Probe
  • Submillimeter

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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