AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 8. Space Instruments
Display, Monday, May 31, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[8.03] Analysis, results, and assessment of the NICMOS warmup monitoring program

M. Sosey, T. Boeker, J. Bacinski, L.E. Bergeron, D. Gilmore, S. Holfeltz, B. Monroe (STScI), STScI NICMOS Team

The NearInfrared Camera and MultiObject Spectrometer (NICMOS) onboard the Hubble Space Telescope exhausted its cryogen early this year. Science operation is since then suspended until the installation of the NICMOS cooling system (NCS) during the third HST servicing mission in late 2000. The NCS is a mechanical cryocooler that will allow continued operation of NICMOS, albeit at higher temperatures than before. An extensive calibration program was undertaken during the NICMOS warmup after cryogen depletion in order to assess the NICMOS performance under the NCS environment. Here, we summarize the results of this program. Instrument parameters such as quantum efficiency, dark current, focus behavior, bias offsets, and saturation levels have been measured at or are projected onto the expected temperature range under NCS. We estimate the scientific NICMOS performance during the NCS era, and briefly discuss possible implications for the cycle 9 calibration program.

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