The HIgh Resolution Mid-infrarEd Spectrometer (HIRMES) is currently in development and is expected to begin commissioning and observations in 2019.

Principal Investigator: Matthew Greenhouse (GSFC)

HIRMES will cover the 25 – 122 μm wavelength region at high (R = 100,000 – 50,000), medium (R ≈ 12,000), and low (R = 635 – 325) spectral resolution. In addition, there is a Spectral Imaging mode (R ≈ 2,000) that targets specific lines of interest at 51.8 μm, 88.3 μm [OIII], 57.3 μm [NIII], and 121.9 μm [NII]. The instrument achieves these capabilities by utilizing direct-detection Transition Edge Sensor (TES) bolometer arrays, grating-dispersive spectroscopy, and Fabry-Perot tunable narrow-band filters. In spectroscopic mode, HIRMES takes full advantage of SOFIA’s diffraction limited performance by using a range of slit widths proportional to the observed wavelength. The field-of-view for the Spectral Imaging mode is ~113.0" x 106.8" covering 16 x 16 pixels.

HIRMES Flyer [pdf]
Examples of HIRMES potential scientific observations and brief summary of specifications

HIRMES Instrument Paper [pdf]
In-depth summary of HIRMES specifications and preliminary assessment of performance

HIRMES Presentation [pdf]
Additional preliminary information for HIRMES from the instrument principal investigator.

HIRMES instrument diagram

HIRMES instrument schematic


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