Largest Airborne Observatory in the World equipped with MPL switches ( MAGBES )
NASA uses for many years MPL products for various applications. MPL products have been used in the MIR station, in all Space Shuttle flight s as well currently on the ISS. The latest project information we received from NASA is about an upgrade of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint German-US space science project. Carrying a 2.7-metre telescope inside a modified Boeing 747SP. The “space-proven” MAGBES is being used for the upgrade.
The airborne observatory performs astronomical observations in the infrared and sub-millimeter wavelengths, high above the disturbance of Earth’s atmosphere. The scientific objective is to understand the development of galaxies and the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems from interstellar clouds of gas and dust.
The platform for SOFIA operates at altitudes in excess of 12 kilometers. Below this altitude, water vapor in the troposphere hinders observations in the infrared. This is why ground-based telescopes are able to receive infrared radiation from heavenly bodies only through narrow wavelength ‘windows’. SOFIA will have ten times the sensitivity and triple the angular resolution of KAO. SOFIA is scheduled to remain in service for 20 years, and will carry out about 160 astronomy flights a year, each flight lasting between six and eight hours.
An image that is being taken from SOFIA