AAS 196th Meeting, June 2000
Session 32. Space Instrumentation
Display, Tuesday, June 6, 2000, 10:00am-6:30pm, Empire Hall South

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[32.08] HST Wide Field Camera 3 Progress Report

J.W. MacKenty (STScI), E. Cheng (GSFC), R. Hill (Raytheon ITSS/GSFC), L. Cawley, C. Hanley, R. L. Henry, P. Knezek, C. Lisse (STScI), O. Lupie (STScI/CSC), M. Robberto (STScI/ESA), M. Stiavelli (STScI)

The Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) continues in development as a facility instrument for HST by a GSFC, STScI, JPL, Ball Aerospace, and Swales team. Planned for installation during the 4th Servicing Mission (presently scheduled for July 2003), WFC3 will provide HST with high quality imaging until the end of the HST mission. WFC3 provides a Ultraviolet-Visible Channel (UVIS) with high sensitivity from 200 to 1000 nm with a 165 x 165 arc second field of view. The CCD detectors for this channel are based upon the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) Wide Field Camera design with an extension into the near UV. A broad range of science programs in the UVIS channel will be enabled by a set of 48 filters and grisms selected by the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee following consultation with the astronomical community. WFC3 also extends and improves HST capabilities into the near infrared with an IR Channel viewing 135 x 135 arc seconds from 850 to 1700 nm (750 to 1900 nm goal). Equipped with 16 filters and grisms, the IR Channel will have improved sensitivity and lower noise than NICMOS permitting zodical background limited observations in broad J and H bands. During the past year the WFC3 design has matured, key procurements have been started, and a number of important scientific optimizations and tradeoffs accomplished.

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