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The Herschel-Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI).
Astronomy & Astrophysics, 518 (L.6).
Aims. This paper describes the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI) that was launched onboard ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory
in May 2009.
Methods. The instrument is a set of 7 heterodyne receivers that are electronically tuneable, covering 480−1250 GHz with SIS mixers and the
1410−1910 GHz range with hot electron bolometer (HEB) mixers. The local oscillator (LO) subsystem comprises a Ka-band synthesizer followed
by 14 chains of frequency multipliers and 2 chains for each frequency band. A pair of auto-correlators and a pair of acousto-optical spectrometers
process the two IF signals from the dual-polarization, single-pixel front-ends to provide instantaneous frequency coverage of 2 × 4 GHz, with a
set of resolutions (125 kHz to 1 MHz) that are better than 0.1 kms−1.
Results. After a successful qualification and a pre-launch TB/TV test program, the flight instrument is now in-orbit and completed successfully
the commissioning and performance verification phase. The in-orbit performance of the receivers matches the pre-launch sensitivities. We also
report on the in-orbit performance of the receivers and some first results of HIFI’s operations.
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