SPIRE is one of three instruments on-board the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, which was launched on May 14, 2009 and became non-functional on April 29, 2013, exceeding its targeted life-span of 3.5 years. The Herschel satellite was turned off on June 17, 2013. The SPIRE team will support the post-operational phase for three years. The SPIRE instrument allows for medium to high resolution imaging spectroscopy and photometry in the far infrared and submillimeter range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The Canadian contribution to SPIRE consists of a test facility Fourier Transform Spectrometer to test instrument models, data analysis software, as well as personnel for the instrument control, test, and science teams. This portion of the mission is undertaken with the financial support of the Canadian Space Agency. The principal investigator for SPIRE is Prof. Matt Griffin from the Cardiff University, Wales, UK. This instrument is built by an international consortium with contributors from eight countries, including Canada. The integration facility for SPIRE is at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxon, UK and Prof. Bruce Swinyard is the instrument scientist leading the team responsible to manufacture SPIRE. SPIRE is a back-to-back camera and imaging spectrometer for the far-infrared and submillimeter range of the electromagnetic spectrum (200 – 670μm).
Data Processing and Science Analysis Software Centres
Canada has been involved in the Herschel/SPIRE project since late 2002. In 2005, the CSA extended its technical contribution to SPIRE by committing funding to host the Data Processing and Science Analysis Software (DAPSAS) Centre for the SPIRE imaging FTS. Two equivalent DAPSAS centres exist for the SPIRE camera at Imperial College, London, UK and the Centre d’Etudes Atomiques – Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France. Blue Sky Spectroscopy is proud to host this development centre for scientific software. The DAPSAS centres develop, maintain, and optimize the data processing software for the astronomy community to process and analyze the data from the SPIRE instrument. As a centre of expertise we provide the in-depth and instrument-specific knowledge required to accurately process SPIRE data. Our software has to be fully integrated in the Herschel Common Software System and maintains robustness, ease of use, time and memory efficiency, and scientific integrity of the resulting data products. We also develop and test the software required for the ongoing instrument calibration and quality control of the scientific data. The DAPSAS centres are ongoing resource pools to aid astronomers with the reduction of their scientific data throughout the instrument lifetime. Internal Documentation (password protected)