UCLA Infrared Lab


First Light Test Camera for NASA's SOFIA Observatory

FLITECAM is a 1-5 micron infrared camera for NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). A 1024 x 1024 InSb ALADDIN III detector and large refractive optics provide a field of view of almost 8 arc minutes in diameter with a scale of just under 0.5 arc seconds per pixel. The instrument is cooled by a double liquid helium and liquid nitrogen cryostat. Using a collimated beam of about 26 mm diameter, a low resolution spectroscopic mode is also available using direct-ruled KRS5 grisms and fixed slits of either 1″ or 2″ width and 60″ length to yield resolving powers of R~1700 and 900 respectively.

Note: FLITECAM was decomissioned by NASA in 2018 after many successful science missions aboard SOFIA including the Pluto Occultation in New Zealand in 2015.



Science Overview




FLITECAM: delivery and performance on SOFIA
Logsdon et al. 2016

FLITECAM: early commissioning results
Logsdon et al. 2014

FLITECAM: current status and results from observatory verification flights
McLean et al. 2012


Haze in Pluto's atmosphere: Results from SOFIA and ground-based observations of the 2015 June 29 Pluto occultation
Person et al. 2019

Simultaneous multicolour optical and near-IR transit photometry of GJ 1214b with SOFIA
Angerhausen et al. 2016

Observations of Type Ia Supernova 2014J with FLITECAM/SOFIA
Vacca et al. 2015

A Survey of 3.3 μm PAH Emission in Planetary Nebulae
Smith and McLean 2008


SPIE Paper 6269_56: Grism Spectroscopy with FLITECAM
Erin C. Smith, Ian S. McLean

SPIE Paper 6269_195: FLITECAM, a 1-5 micron camera and spectrometer for SOFIA
Ian S. McLean, Erin C. Smith, T. Aliado, G. Brims, E. Kress, K. Magnone, J. Milburn, A. Oldag, T. Silvers, G. Skulason, Eric E. Becklin, Ralph Y. Shuping

SPIE Paper 4008_158: The Optical Design of FLITECAM
J.M.M. Horn, Ian S. McLean

SPIE Paper 4014_8: FLITECAM - A near infrared camera for test and science applications on SOFIA (2000)
J.M.M. Horn, E.E. Becklin, O. Bendiksen, G. Brims, J. Goulter, E. Kress, N. Magnone, Ian S. McLean, J. Milburn, N. Mollayem, H.S. Moselley, M. Spencer

SPIE Paper 4857_21: Characterization of FLITECAM: the first light camera for SOFIA
A.K. Mainzer, Ian S. McLean, T. Aliado, E.E. Becklin, G. Brims, J. Goulter, E. Kress, N. Magnone, J. Milburn, G. Skulason, M. Spencer

The Astrophysical Journal, 604: Using Narrowband Photometry to Classify Stars and Brown Dwarfs
A.K. Mainzer, Ian S. McLean, J.L. Sievers, E.T. Young

The Astrophysical Journal, 597: Using Narrowband Photometry to Detect Young Brown Dwarfs in IC 348
A.K. Mainzer, Ian S. McLean


FLITECAM -- Compelling Science
Ian S. McLean

Amanda Mainzer, Ian S. McLean

FLITECAM - SPIE 2006 - Grism Spectroscopy with FLITECAM
Erin C. Smith, Ian S. McLean


Atmospheric Transmission Data
OH airglow data


FLITECAM Team Page (Restricted)