MPL Product application
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-millimetre 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 kilometres. Below this altitude, water vapour 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
Composite image of the Cigar Galaxy (also called M82), a starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. The magnetic field detected by SOFIA, shown as streamlines, appears to follow the bipolar outflows (red) generated by the intense nuclear starburst. The image combines visible starlight (gray) and tracing of hydrogen gas (red) from the Kitt Peak Observatory, with near-infrared and mid-infrared starlight and dust (yellow) from SOFIA and the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Credits: NASA/SOFIA/E. Lopez-Rodriguez; NASA/Spitzer/J. Moustakas et al.