Descriptions and Capabilities

The ISO spacecraft and the four instruments were designed to perform imaging, photo-polarimetric and spectroscopic observations between 2.4 and 240 microns. These observations could be single pointings, one or two dimensional raster maps or solar system observations.

Details on satellite design, ISO's orbit and viewing constraints and observing with ISO can be found in the ISO Handbook Volume I (Version 2.0).

The four instruments are:

ISOCAM, mid-infrared camera (2.5 -17 microns)
ISOLWS, long wavelength spectrometer (43 - 196.7 microns)
ISOPHT, imaging photo-polarimeter (2.5 - 240 microns)
ISOSWS, short wavelength spectrometer (2.4 - 45 microns)
The description of the instruments and the observational modes are available in the corresponding volumes of the ISO Handbook:

ISO Observing Modes

The table below gives a summary of the observing modes (AOTs) for each instrument. Detailed descriptions of the observing modes and input parameters can be found in dedicated sections of the CAM, LWS, PHT and SWS volumes of the ISO Handbook.
CAM01 General Observation
CAM03 Beam Switching
CAM04 Spectral Observations
CAM05 Polarisation
LWS01 Grating Wavelength Range Spectrum
LWS02 Grating Line Spectra
LWS03 Fabry-Pérot Wavelength Range Spectrum
LWS04 Fabry-Pérot Line Spectra
PHT03 General Multi-filter Photometry with PHT-P
PHT04 General Multi-aperture Photometry with PHT-P
PHT05 Absolute Photometry with PHT-P
PHT17 Sparse Map with PHT-P (start AOT)
PHT18 Sparse Map with PHT-P (intermediate AOT(s))
PHT19 Sparse Map with PHT-P (end AOT)
PHT22 Multi-filter Photometry with PHT-C
PHT25 Absolute Photometry with PHT-C
PHT32 Multi-filter Map / Linear Scan with PHT-C
PHT37 Sparse Map with PHT-C (start AOT)
PHT38 Sparse Map with PHT-C (intermediate AOTs)
PHT39 Sparse Map with PHT-C (end AOT)
PHT40 Spectrophotometry with PHT-S
PHT50 Single Filter Polarimetry with PHT-P
PHT51 Single Filter Polarimetry with PHT-C
SWS01 Low-Resolution Full Grating Scan
SWS02 Grating Line Profile Scan
SWS06 Grating Scan
SWS07 Combined Fabry-Pérot Line Scan and SW Grating Scan
In addition, three instruments had complementary observing modes:
CAM: Parallel observation while another instrument was prime
LWS: Parallel observation while another instrument was prime
PHT: Serendipity survey at 170 microns during satellite slews