ESA Science & Technology - Publication Archive
This paper summarizes the results of an ESA feasibility study of a Wide-Field Optical Infrared Imager (WFI) that would search for Type Ia supernovae at low redshift with the aim to measure the changing rate of expansion of the universe. WFI multi-spectral images of the deep universe could also benefit to many other research area in astrophysics. The WFI payload includes a 2 m class telescope, a 1 square degree field of view imaging camera and a low-resolution integral field spectrometer. A mission concept was identified that consists of a 2000 kg spacecraft launched by a Soyuz-Fregat into a L2 halo orbit. The WFI mission could benefit from the technology developed for the ESA Herschel and Gaia missions and for the NIRSpec ESA instrument. A fully European WFI mission would require improvement of existing European detector and on-board processor technology as well as some effort to support the utilization of the 26 GHz Ka band.