Odin Astronomy

Odin in orbit Odin is a combined astronomy/aeronomy mission first conceived and developed by Sweden. Canada, France, and Finland are international partners in the mission. Canada has a 20% share in both aspects of the mission. Odin was successfully launched on February 20th, 2001.

Four sub-millimetre bands will be accessible, centred on 495, 548, 555 and 571 GHz. The radiometer will provide a 17 GHz tuning range about each of these frequencies and has an instantaneous bandwidth of 1 GHz. There will also be a fifth band in the millimetre range centred on 119 GHz. The spatial resolution is ~2 arc min at sub-millimetre wavelengths and ~9 arc min at 119 GHz.

The scientific support of Odin astronomy in Canada is funded by the Canadian Space Agency, and contracted to the University of Calgary. Six Odin scientists were selected in a national competition: Lorne Avery (H.I.A.), Paul Feldman (H.I.A.), Mike Fich (Waterloo), Sun Kwok (Calgary, P.I.), George Mitchell (St. Mary’s), and Christine Wilson (McMaster). Peter Bernath (Waterloo) is also invited as an expert to the spectral scan team by the international science team.

Technical personnel in Canada for Odin astronomy are: Steve Torchinsky (Instrumentation Scientist), Kevin Volk (Project Scientist), and Tatsuhiko Hasegawa (Project Scientist).

The Science

Many molecular and atomic lines of astronomical interest will be accessible for the first time. Some of the most interesting are transitions of water, carbon monoxide, molecular oxygen molecular oxygen, chlorine, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and CS. A major goal will be the study of the interstellar and circumstellar oxygen chemistry using water and molecular oxygen. These species are key to the oxygen budget but neither is detectable from the ground. Odin observations will have an impact on a wide range of subjects including

Kevin Volk, October 2001
last update 2010 June 30, 09:40 UTC by Steve Torchinsky. See changelog.