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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems

Coronagraph instrument for WFIRST-AFTA
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Paper Abstract

The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is a NASA observatory concept, now in phase A study, which is designed to perform wide-field imaging and slitless spectroscopic surveys for dark energy research and other astrophysical studies. It will also perform microlensing surveys to look for distant exoplanets in our galaxy, and direct imaging studies of some of the very nearest exoplanets. The current astrophysics focused telescope assets (AFTA) design of the mission makes use of an existing 2.4-m telescope, which yields enhanced sensitivity and imaging performance in all these science programs. AFTA also enables the addition of a coronagraph instrument (CGI) for direct imaging and spectroscopy of nearby giant exoplanets (including some that were discovered by radial velocity and other methods), and also for observing debris disks around the candidate host stars. This paper outlines the context for the other papers in this special volume on the WFIRST-AFTA CGI, covering the science, design, engineering, and technology development of the observatory and its CGI.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 March 2016
PDF: 6 pages
J. Ast. Inst. Sys. 2(1) 011001 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.2.1.011001
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 2, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
M. Charley Noecker, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Feng Zhao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Rick Demers, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
John Trauger, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Olivier Guyon, Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (United States)
The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
N. Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton Univ. (United States)


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