WISE ground characterization challenges and accomplishments

Joel Cardon, Harri Latvakoski, Mark Larsen, John Elwell, Amy Mainzer, Ingolf Heinrichsen

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

1 Scopus citations


NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which launched in December 2009, is currently producing an allsky survey in the mid-infrared (2.8 - 26 microns) with far greater sensitivity and resolution than any previous IR survey mission. The ongoing on-orbit calibration of the instrument is performed at the Wise Science Data Center (WSDC), but several of the calibration parameters of interest were best measured on the ground, and have been maintained as part of the on-orbit calibration process. The Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) built the science payload, and performed a series of ground characterization tests prior to launch. A challenge in a MIDEX mission such as WISE is to balance the various program demands to perform a thorough ground calibration within schedule and budget constraints, while also demonstrating compliance with formal flow-down requirements, and simultaneously verifying that performance has not been degraded during late-program environmental testing. These activities are not always entirely compatible. This paper presents an assessment of ground characterization challenges and solutions that contributed to a successful WISE mission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAn Optical Believe It or Not
Subtitle of host publicationKey Lessons Learned II
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventAn Optical Believe It or Not: Key Lessons Learned II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2010Aug 3 2010

Publication series

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


ConferenceAn Optical Believe It or Not: Key Lessons Learned II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

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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