Development of the wide-field infrared survey explorer (WISE) mission

Fengchuan Liu, Roc Cutri, George Greanias, Valerie Duval, Peter Eisenhardt, John Elwell, Ingolf Heinrichsen, Joan Howard, William Irace, Amanda Mainzer, Andrea Razzaghi, Donald Royer, Edward L. Wright

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Scopus citations


WISE is a NASA MIDEX mission to survey the entire sky in four bands from 3 to 25 microns with sensitivity about 500 times greater than the IRAS survey. WISE will find the most luminous galaxies in the universe, find the closest stars to the Sun, and detect most of the main belt asteroids larger than 3 km. WISE launch is scheduled in November, 2009 on a Delta 7320-10 to a 525 km Sun-synchronous polar orbit. This paper gives an overview of WISE including development status and management approach. WISE flight system design is single string with selected redundancy and graceful degradation. Wherever possible, design heritage from prior missions is pursued and properly reviewed to reduce development time and cost. Further risk reduction is achieved since the WISE spacecraft has no deployable mechanisms and no propulsion. Nonetheless, a complex space mission with a sophisticated cryogenic IR telescope such as WISE demands a partnership of multiple organizations in government research, academia, and industry. With a cost cap and relatively short development schedule, it is essential for all WISE partners to work seamlessly together. This is accomplished by a single management team representing all key partners and disciplines in science, systems engineering, mission assurance, project and contract management. WISE uses a variety of management tools including frequent team interaction, schedule, milestone and critical path analysis, risk analysis, reliability analysis, earned value analysis, configuration management, and management of schedule and budget reserves. After a successful mission critical design review in June, 2007, WISE has completed building most of the flight hardware, and started integration and test within payload and spacecraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationModeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy III
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventModeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy III - Marseille, France
Duration: Jun 26 2008Jun 28 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceModeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy III


  • Asteroids
  • Cryogenic
  • Infrared
  • Ultraluminous galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of the wide-field infrared survey explorer (WISE) mission'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this