Blue Sky Spectroscopy has a long heritage in world class Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) instrumentation and software development for both ground and space-based astronomy. It was proud to host the data processing centre (DAPSAS) for the SPIRE FTS on ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory, launched in 2009. This ground-breaking observatory produced our first unbiased view of the far-infrared (FIR) universe and by any measure has been an outstanding success. It has caused astronomers to re-examine their theories of star formation, provided our first large scale view of distant galaxies, and garnered several national/international awards.
Now, recognizing the immense gain in sensitivity that can be achieved by cooling a Herschel type telescope, ESA and JAXA have joined forces to develop the SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA). SPICA will have a similar-sized aperture to Herschel, but the telescope and instruments will be cooled to ~ 6 K. As a result of its factor of 100 increase in sensitivity, SPICA will be able to explore a volume of the universe 1000x greater than Herschel.
Realizing this spectacular potential will rely on a new instrument concept; the first cryogenic post-dispersed FTS flown in space.
Blue Sky Spectroscopy is proud to announce that it has been awarded Canadian Space Agency (CSA http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/ ) funding under the Space Technology Development Program to develop a data processing framework for post-dispersed FTS, a necessary first step in the development of a DAPSAS that could be a strong candidate for the SPICA/SAFARI instrument. This type of instrument has never been flown before but is seen as the future for all FIR space exploration missions. Blue Sky Spectroscopy is pleased to continue to be involved in the leading edge of this field.