www.sron.nl/122-hifi2/hifi.html

07-04-2014
nwo-institutes-at-technology-fair-hannover-messe

NWO institutes at technology fair Hannover Messe

The NWO-institutes ASTRON, SRON, NIOZ and the three FOM-institutes AMOLF, DIFFER and Nikhef present themselves at the R&D fair of the Hannover Messe 2014. The institutes are to be found at the Holland High Tech House in Hal 2 Research & Technology, from April 6th to April 11th. This year, as the Netherlands are the so called 'partner country' of the Hannover Messe - Dutch hightech is in the international spotlights. The Messe has been openend by prime ministers Angela Merkel and Mark Rutte.        Read more (in dutch)
27-03-2014
how-black-holes-influence-the-evolution-of-galaxies

How black holes influence the evolution of galaxies

 SRON scientists have found first evidence of an ionized gas wind far away from a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy. The discovery of this outflow, near the boundary of the galaxy, may contribute to solving a long standing mystery. How do these 'tiny' black holes in the centre influence the evolution of the vast host galaxies?             More
26-03-2014
more-than-6-5-million-for-the-scientific-research-and-high-tech-infrastructure-in-the-north-of-the-netherlands

More than 6,5 million for the scientific research and high tech infrastructure of the North

SRON, the province of Groningen and the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen have signed the so called 'Deal of the North'. This plan comprises a joint investment of more than 6,5 million euros in the reinforcement of scientific research and high tech infrastructure in the North of the Netherlands. Local industry is also involved in the investments. On top of that SRON will remain in Groningen.           More
20-03-2014
roel-gathier-appointed-at-influential-position-esa

Roel Gathier appointed at influential position ESA

On 19 March the European space organization ESA has appointed Roel Gathier, managing director of SRON, to chair of the Science Programme Committee (SPC). Gathier will hold this influential position for two years, from 1 July 2014 onwards, with the possibility of a third year. The appointment is a recognition of the great merits of Dutch space research for Europe.           More
19-03-2014
deal-of-the-north-will-be-signed

Deal of the North will be signed

In coperation with the province of Groningen and University of Groningen (RUG) SRON has developed a plan to embed SRON more prominently in the high tech ecostructuur of the North of the Netherlands. The secondary goal is to keep SRON in Groningen. The agreement will be signed on 25 March.        Read more (in dutch)

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Summary

HIFI's superb spectral resolution coupled with its ability to observe thousands of molecular, atomic and ionic lines at submillimeter wavelengths make it the instrument of choice to address many of the key  questions in modern astrophysics related to the cyclic interaction of stars and the interstellar medium:
  1. HIFI will probe the physics, kinematics and energetics of star forming regions through their cooling lines, including H2O, the major coolant.
  2. HIFI will survey the molecular inventory of such diverse regions as shocked molecular clouds, dense Photon-Dominated Regions (PDRs), diffuse atomic clouds, Hot Cores and proto-planetary disks around newly formed stars, winds from dying stars and toroids interacting with AGN engines.
  3. HIFI is uniquely suited to search for low-lying ro-vibrational transitions of complex species such as PAHs and, thus, to investigate the origin and evolution of the molecular universe.
  4. HIFI can provide the out-gassing rate of comets through H2O rotational lines and determine the vertical distribution of H2O in the giant planets and on Mars.
  5. HIFI can measure the mass-loss history of stars which, rather than nuclear burning, regulates stellar evolution after the main sequence, and dominates the gas and dust mass balance of the ISM.
  6. HIFI will measure the FIR line spectrum of nearby galaxies as templates for distant, possibly primordial galaxies.

The main reason to build HIFI was because the above sketched science cannot be done from the ground, since atmospheric water lines block all radiation coming from space. On the right plots are given of the atmospheric transmission.

HIFI is optimised to address the astronomical key questions given above. All of these require high spectral resolving powers and sensitivity. Combining the high spectral resolving power of the radio heterodyne technique with quantum-noise limited detection from superconductor physics and state-of-the-art microwave technology, has made it possible to develop an instrument with a continuous frequency coverage from 480 to 1250 GHz in five bands, plus a sixth band providing coverage for 1410-1910 GHz at an unrivalled spectral resolution and ultimate sensitivity. This instrument is able to perform rapid and complecte spectral line surveys with resolving powers from 103 up to 107 (300 - 0.03 km/s) and deep line observations.

HIFI Band

1

2

3

4

5

6

Coverage (GHz)

480-
640

640-
800

800-
960

960-
1120

1120-
1250

1410-
1910

Half Power
Beamwidth
(arcsec)

39

30

25

21

19

13

Rec. Noise
(DSB) in K
Baseline values

110

145

175

210

370

800