On-orbit performance of the MIPS instrument
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The Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS) provides long wavelength capability for the mission, in imaging bands at 24, 70, and 160μm and measurements of spectral energy distributions between 52 and 100μ,m at a spectral resolution of about 7%. By using true detector arrays in each band, it provides both critical sampling of the Spitzer point spread function and relatively large imaging fields of view, allowing for substantial advances in sensitivity, angular resolution, and efficiency of areal coverage compared with previous space far-infrared capabilities. The Si:As BIB 24μm array has excellent photometric properties, and measurements with rms relative errors of 1% or better can be obtained. The two longer wavelength arrays use Ge:Ga detectors with poor photometric stability. However, the use of 1.) a scan mirror to modulate the signals rapidly on these arrays, 2.) a system of on-board stimulators used for a relative calibration approximately every two minutes, and 3.) specialized reduction software result in good photometry with these arrays also, with rms relative errors of less than 10%.
author list (cited authors)
Rieke, G. H., Young, E. T., Cadien, J., Engelbracht, C. W., Gordon, K. D., Kelly, D. M., ... Stapelfeldt, K. R.