ESA Science & Technology - Publication Archive
- Five Years of INTEGRAL
- AO-6 KP Announcement and AO-5 KP Update
- Recent Scientific Highlights
- Science Operations
- ISDA and INVITE
- Changes at ISOC
- Contacting ISOC
We have developed microshutter array systems at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for use as multi-object aperture arrays for a Near-Infrared Spectrometer (NIRSpec) instrument. The instrument will be carried on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the next generation of space telescope, after the Hubble Space Telescope retires. The microshutter arrays (MSAs) are designed for the selective transmission of light from objected galaxies in space with high efficiency and high contrast. Arrays are close-packed silicon nitride membranes with a pixel size close to 100x200 micron. Individual shutters are patterned with a torsion flexure permitting shutters to open 90 degrees with minimized stress concentration. In order to enhance optical contrast, light shields are made on each shutter to prevent light leak. Shutters are actuated magnetically, latched and addressed electrostatically. The shutter arrays are fabricated using MEMS bulk-micromachining and packaged utilizing a novel single-sided indium flip-chip bonding technology. The MSA flight system consists of a mosaic of 2 x 2 format of four fully addressable 365 x 171 arrays. The system will be placed in the JWST optical path at the focal plane of NIRSpec detectors. MSAs that we fabricated passed a series of qualification tests for flight capabilities. We are in the process of making final flight-qualified MSA systems for the JWST mission.
The James Webb Space Telescope's (JWST) Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) incorporates two 5 micron cutoff (lambdaco=5 micron) 2048×2048 pixel Teledyne HgCdTe HAWAII-2RG sensor chip assemblies. These detector arrays, and the two Teledyne SIDECAR application specific integrated circuits that control them, are operated in space at T ~ 37 K. In this article, we provide a brief introduction to NIRSpec, its detector subsystem (DS), detector readout in the space radiation environment, and present a snapshot of the developmental status of the NIRSpec DS as integration and testing of the engineering test unit begins.