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Proceedings Paper

Engineering design of the Wide-Field Infrared Explorer (WIRE)
Author(s): David G. Elliott; Perry B. Hacking; Helene R. Schember
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Paper Abstract

The Wide-Field Infrared Explorer is a cryogenically-cooled infrared telescope designed to study the evolution of starburst galaxies. This survey mission, proposed as part of the NASA Small Explorer program, takes advantage of recent advances in infrared detector technology to detect distant galaxies in 12 and 25 micrometers wavelength bands. The WIRE instrument is designed to be integrated with a spacecraft bus provided by Goddard Space Flight Center and launched into a 500 km orbit on a Pegasus XL launch vehicle. Most of the mission will be split between a moderate depth survey requiring 14 minutes exposure time per field and a deep survey requiring 4-8 hours per field. The WIRE telescope has an aperture of 300 mm, focal length of 1105 mm and field of view of 31.6 arcmin. A dichroic beam splitter separates the beam into the two wavelength bands. The two sensors are 128 X 128 Si:As arrays with 75-micrometers pixels operating in the blocked impurity band (BIB) mode. The focal plane arrays are cooled by solid hydrogen to 7.5 K and the optics and baffles are cooled by solid hydrogen to below 19 K.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 September 1994
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2268, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing II, (14 September 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.185829
Show Author Affiliations
David G. Elliott, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Perry B. Hacking, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Helene R. Schember, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2268:
Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing II
Marija S. Scholl, Editor(s)

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