AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 11 Instrumentation, Space Missions
Poster, Monday, May 31, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Ballroom

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[11.02] Detectors for the JWST Near-Infrared Spectrometer

B.J. Rauscher (NASA/GSFC), D.F. Figer (STScI), R.J. Hill (SSAI/GSFC), P.J. Jakobsen (ESA/ESTEC), S.H. Moseley (NASA/GSFC), M.W. Regan (STScI), P. Strada (ESA/ESTEC)

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a centerpiece of NASA's Origins Theme and ESA's Cosmic Vision Programme. The Near Infrared Spectrometer (NIRSpec) will be JWST's primary spectrograph operating in the 0.6-5 \mum wavelength range. It will be a highly-multiplexed dispersive spectrometer, capable of observing more than 100 objects simultaneously at spectral resolutions R=100-3000. Key scientific objectives include; studies of star formation and chemical abundances of young distant galaxies, tracing the creation of the chemical elements back in time, and exploring the history of the intergalactic medium.

NIRSpec is a truly international partnership under ESA leadership with NASA providing the detectors and micro-shutter array for target selection. Of all JWST instruments, NIRSpec places the most demanding requirements on its detectors. These stringent requirements include total noise (including read noise and shot noise on integrated dark current) less than 6 electrons rms per 1000 seconds exposure. In this paper, we discuss NIRSpec's detector requirements in a scientific context, and present some recent laboratory test results that are informing the development of NIRSpec's detector sub-system. These test results include the demonstration, in more than one test laboratory, of dark currents =0.001 e-/s/pixel and total noise consistent with requirements.

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