On 21 and 22 January 2011, the German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies, GREAT, was installed on Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, for the first time. The installation and first tests were successful. Further tests will follow before the first scientific flight of SOFIA with GREAT on board takes place in April 2011.
"Thanks to all those who participated in the project over the years and contributed to the completion of the instrument," says Rolf Güsten from Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and project manager for GREAT.
GREAT, the German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies, is a receiver for spectroscopic observations at far-infrared frequencies between 1.2 and 5 terahertz (60-220 microns), which are not accessible from the ground due to absorption by water vapour. GREAT is one of two first generation German SOFIA instruments developed by a consortium of German research institutes, which includes Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), University of Cologne, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, the DLR Institute of Planetary Research. Rolf Güsten (MPIfR) is the project manager for GREAT. The development of the instrument was financed by the participating institutes, the Max Planck Society and the German Research Foundation.