archive: SETI [ASTRO] Wide Field Camera 3 - Hubble's New Camera

SETI [ASTRO] Wide Field Camera 3 - Hubble's New Camera

Larry Klaes ( )
Wed, 30 Dec 1998 07:58:43 -0500

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>Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 23:26:16 GMT
>From: Ron Baalke <>
>Subject: [ASTRO] Wide Field Camera 3 - Hubble's New Camera
>Reply-To: Ron Baalke <>
>[From October 1998 issue of Space Telescope Science Institute Newsletter.]
>Wide Field Camera 3
>By Ed Cheng (GSFC), John MacKenty (STScI), Robert O'Connell (UVa)
>NASA has embarked on the construction of a new HST science instrument for the
>2003 Servicing Mission, provisionally named the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).
>Intended to replace the WFPC2, WFC3 will provide redundancy for the imaging
>capabilities of the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), which will be
>in early 2000. WFC3 is part of a larger effort to ensure that HST is
>with hardware components capable of supporting a broad suite of science
>capabilities for the extended mission until 2010. This process was discussed
>by David Leckrone in the "Report from the Project Scientist" in the April
>1998, STScI Newsletter.
>The WFC3 project is currently defining detailed requirements and studying
>alternative design options. The baseline design provides a 160 x 160
>arcsecond field of view using a 4096 x 4096 pixel CCD detector with 0.04
>arcsecond pixels. This detector is planned to be optimized for short
>wavelength sensitivity in order to provide an unprecedented wide field,
>near-UV (longward of 2000 Angstrom) capability on HST. It will provide
>coverage to 1 micron, superior to the present WFPC2, but with slightly lower
>red sensitivity than the ACS WFC. A filter wheel assembly will provide a
>selection of 48 optical elements, including a broad range of filters and
>grisms to be defined with community input.
>WFC3 is being constructed by an integrated product team consisting of
>NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the
>Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Ball Aerospace. This team is led by Ed Cheng
>(GSFC) with John MacKenty (STScI) as his deputy.
>Following a solicitation of the astronomical community in March, 1998,
>sixteen astronomers were competitively selected from over sixty applicants
>to serve on the WFC3 Scientific Oversight Committee, with Robert O'Connell
>as its chair. The SOC member will provide the WFC3 project with guidance on
>the scientific consequences of design and construction decisions during the
>WFC3 development process. They are working as volunteers without pay or GTO
>time and serve to represent the astronomical community.
>The WFC3 project is presently assessing the state of the returned WF/PC-1
>hardware and de-integrating its major components. Together with the SOC, a
>set of science drivers for defining detailed requirements and metrics are
>being developed. Upon the advice of the HST Second Decade Study committee,
>and with the endorsement of the SOC, the WFC3 project is exploring the
>potential benefits and costs of extending the capabilities of WFC3.