Continued Support of the Herschel Project

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Physics


SPIRE, the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver, is an instrument to fly on ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, due for launch in 2008. It will work at far infrared wavelengths which are blocked by the Earth's atmosphere and can tell us a great deal about the formation of galaxies, and of stars and planetary systems in our own galaxy. The SPIRE flight instrument has been built by an international consortium, led and managed by the UK, and has now been delivered to the Herschel industrial contractor. Between now and the launch of Herschel (currently foreseen to be around October 2008), SPIRE will be integrated and thoroughly tested as part of the complete Herschel system. After launch there will be six months of in-flight commissioning and evaluation. Before launch Imperial College London will be responsible for managing the development of the processing pipeline as well as contributing specific processing modules, participating in ESA end-to-end tests of the pipelines, conducting SPIRE's own scientific validation of the pipeline, development of AOTs and HSPOT interfaces and contributing to Herschel-wide development efforts through roles on the DP Users Group, HCSS Editorial Board, CCB, Training Team etc. We will also be contributing to the testing programme for the Flight Spare. After launch we will continue to maintain and improve the processing software and associated documentation, but our major activity will be contributing to the ICC efforts to commission, characterise and operate SPIRE in orbit. As such we will be contributing to all main post-launch activities including the operations, calibration, software and management teams. The case for support has already been reviewed and approved by the UK Herschel-Planck Oversight Committee (HPOC) in September 2006. Subsequent discussions with PPARC/STFC have been held to agree programme details


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