Wide-field infrared survey explorer science payload update

Mark F. Larsen, Harri Latvakoski, Amanda K. Mainzer, Scott Schick, Joel Drake

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

16 Scopus citations


The Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer is a NASA Medium Class Explorer mission to perform a high-sensitivity, high resolution, all-sky survey in four infrared wavelength bands. The science payload is a 40 cm aperture cryogenically cooled infrared telescope with four 10242 infrared focal plane arrays covering from 2.8 to 26 μm. Mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) detectors are used for the 3.3 μm and 4.6 μm channels, and Si:As detectors are used for the 12 μm and 23 μm wavelength channels. A cryogenic scan mirror freezes the field of view on the sky over the 9.9-second frame integration time. A two-stage solid hydrogen cryostat provides cooling to temperatures less than 17 K and 8.3 K at the telescope and Si:As focal planes, respectively. The science payload collects continuous data on orbit for the seven-month baseline mission with a goal to support a year-long mission, if possible. As of the writing of this paper, the payload subassemblies are complete, and the payload has begun integration and test. This paper provides a payload overview and discusses instrument status and performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter - Marseille, France
Duration: Jun 23 2008Jun 28 2008

Publication series

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


OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter


  • Cryogenic
  • Hydrogen cryostat
  • Infra-red astronomy
  • Infrared
  • Wise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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