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The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope: 100 Hubbles for the 2020s

Akeson, Rachel L. and Armus, Lee and Calchi Novati, Sebastiano and Henderson, Calen B. and Shvartzvald, Yossi and Wang, Yun (2019) The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope: 100 Hubbles for the 2020s. . (Unpublished)

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The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is a 2.4m space telescope with a 0.281 deg^2 field of view for near-IR imaging and slitless spectroscopy and a coronagraph designed for > 10^8 starlight suppresion. As background information for Astro2020 white papers, this article summarizes the current design and anticipated performance of WFIRST. While WFIRST does not have the UV imaging/spectroscopic capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope, for wide field near-IR surveys WFIRST is hundreds of times more efficient. Some of the most ambitious multi-cycle HST Treasury programs could be executed as routine General Observer (GO) programs on WFIRST. The large area and time-domain surveys planned for the cosmology and exoplanet microlensing programs will produce extraordinarily rich data sets that enable an enormous range of Archival Research (AR) investigations. Requirements for the coronagraph are defined based on its status as a technology demonstration, but its expected performance will enable unprecedented observations of nearby giant exoplanets and circumstellar disks. WFIRST is currently in the Preliminary Design and Technology Completion phase (Phase B), on schedule for launch in 2025, with several of its critical components already in production.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Akeson, Rachel L.0000-0001-9674-1564
Armus, Lee0000-0003-3498-2973
Calchi Novati, Sebastiano0000-0002-7669-1069
Henderson, Calen B.0000-0001-8877-9060
Shvartzvald, Yossi0000-0003-1525-5041
Additional Information:We thank the many, many individuals who have contributed to the WFIRST mission and the WFIRST Science Definition Teams and Science Formulation Teams over the past decade. Their input has been essential to designing the mission summarized here. We also thank those in the astronomical community, NASA, Congress, and the Executive Branch whose support has allowed WFIRST to reach its current stage as a mission completing design and beginning construction for a mid-2020s launch.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190925-111621253
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98856
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Sep 2019 18:23
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:45

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