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Noise performance of the JWST/NIRSpec detector system
Author(s): Stephan M. Birkmann; Marco Sirianni; Pierre Ferruit; Chris J. Willott; Roberto Maiolino; Bernard Rauscher; Catarina Alves de Oliveira; Torsten Böker; Giovanna Giardino; Nora Lützgendorf; Anthony Marston; Elena Puga; Tim Rawle; Maurice te Plate; Peter Jensen; Peter Rumler
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Paper Abstract

The Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) is one of the four science instruments onboard the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The instrument features a focal plane array (FPA) consisting of two 2048 × 2048 HAWAII-2RG sensor chip assemblies (SCAs) with a cutoff wavelength of approximately 5.3 μm. The detectors are read out via a pair of SIDECAR ASICs. To ensure a stable operating environment and best performance, the FPA is temperature controlled via a dedicated control loop by the NIRSpec focal plane electronics. The targeted in-orbit operating temperature of the NIRSpec FPA is close to 42.8 K. Due to the low background levels that the JWST will provide, most NIRSpec observations of very faint targets will be detector noise limited. Therefore, stringent noise requirements on the detector system were put in place. In order to meet these requirements, NIRSpec offers a dedicated readout mode for its detectors that is called improved reference sampling and subtraction (IRS2 ). In this paper we present the noise performance of the NIRSpec detectors as a function of readout mode and exposure parameters. We find that the NIRSpec detector system meets its stringent noise requirement of 6 electrons total noise in a ∼ 1000 second exposure. We also highlight the types and effects of different kinds of bad pixels that are present in the detectors in small numbers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2018
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10709, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VIII, 1070930 (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2313524
Show Author Affiliations
Stephan M. Birkmann, European Space Agency (United States)
Marco Sirianni, European Space Agency (United States)
Pierre Ferruit, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Chris J. Willott, NRC - Herzberg Astronomy & Astrophysics (Canada)
Roberto Maiolino, Kavli Institute for Cosmology (United Kingdom)
Bernard Rauscher, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Catarina Alves de Oliveira, European Space Agency (United States)
Torsten Böker, European Space Agency (United States)
Giovanna Giardino, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Nora Lützgendorf, European Space Agency (United States)
Anthony Marston, European Space Agency (United States)
Elena Puga, European Space Agency (United States)
Tim Rawle, European Space Agency (United States)
Maurice te Plate, European Space Agency (United States)
Peter Jensen, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Peter Rumler, European Space Agency (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10709:
High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VIII
Andrew D. Holland; James Beletic, Editor(s)

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