The WIRE instrument is a cryogenically-cooled 30 cm Ritchey-Chretien telescope system that illuminates two 128x128 arsenic-doped silicon infrared detector arrays. A passive, two-stage solid hydrogen cryostat maintains the optics colder than 19 K and the detector arrays below 7.5 K. The optical system consists of the telescope primary and secondary mirrors, a dichroic beamsplitter, one optical passband filter, and baffles. The two channels of the instrument cover broad bands centered near 12 microns and 25 microns; the 25 micron band is the primary one for detecting starburst galaxies. The pixels are 15.5 arcseconds on a side, providing a 33x33 arcminute field of view in each passband. The instrument contains no moving parts. A cutaway is presented below.
The following table lists
some important instrument and mission parameters:
|Telescope||30 cm Ritchey Chretien|
|Detectors||128x128 Si:As BIB arrays|
|Passbands||21-27 microns, and 9-15 microns|
|Field of View||33x33 sq. arcminutes|
|Pixel Size||75 microns, or 15.5 arcsec|
|Final Spatial Resolution||~23 arcsec at 25 microns; ~20 arcsec at 12 microns|
|Cryostat||Dual-stage, solid hydrogen|
|Operating temperatures||< 7.5 K (arrays), 12 K (optics)|
|Cryogen lifetime||4 months|
|Orbit||470x540 km, 97 deg inclination, Sun-synchronous orbit|
|Launch vehicle||Air-launched Pegasus XL|
|Launch date||>March 1, 1999|
Please see the following for more information:
Telescope Photos Page.
Cryostat Photos Page.
Last Updated: 9/3/97