AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 5 Visible/UV/IR Space Missions and Technology
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[5.01] Status and Plans for Wide Field Camera 3 for the Hubble Space Telescope

R. A. Kimble (NASA's GSFC), J. W. MacKenty (STScI), R. W. O'Connell (U. of Virginia), WFC3 Team

Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) is a high-resolution imager with broad wavelength coverage (200-1700 nm) in development for installation onto the Hubble Space Telescope. It augments current HST capabilities by extending high sensitivity, wide field imaging to the near ultraviolet (with ~35 times the NUV surveying speed of existing HST instrumentation) and the near infrared (with ~10 times the J+H band survey speed of NICMOS), while also providing a capable backup to (and richer filter set than) the Advanced Camera for Surveys in the visible. WFC3 will provide powerful new capabilities for the study of dark energy, distant galaxies, star formation, and many other topics in astrophysics.

Originally intended for installation in shuttle-based Servicing Mission 4 (SM4), WFC3 is now expected to be installed in the HST Robotic Servicing Mission. In support of that mission, WFC3 will be modified to accommodate new gyroscopes required for continued operation of the telescope. Fully integrated in its original SM4 configuration, WFC3 has recently completed a thermal-vacuum test in which the performance of the instrument was thoroughly investigated. We discuss the top-level results of that test and the plans for modifying WFC3 and qualifying it for the Robotic Servicing Mission.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.