NASA completes the core instrument core of the Romanian Space Telescope


NASA completes the core instrument core of the Romanian Space Telescope

Principal technician Billy Kim installs a cover plate over the detectors for NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

The core of NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope was recently delivered to Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, for integration into the WFI (Wide Field Instrument). It’s called FPS (focal plane system), and it serves as the core of a Romanian camera. When the mission launches by May 2027, astronomers will use this system to collect remarkable images to help unlock the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter, discover exoplanets, and explore many topics in infrared astrophysics.

FPS consists of a large detector array and associated electronics. the detectors It was developed by engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and Teledyne Scientific and Imaging in Camarillo, California. The Goddard team also did the electronics development and assembly of the FPS. Each of Roman’s 18 detectors contains 16.8 million tiny pixels, which will provide the mission with impressive image resolution. With these “eyes,” we will be able to peer through dust and across vast expanses of the universe, creating high-resolution panoramas of the universe.

“The Roman focal plane array is one of the largest ever launched on a space observatory,” said Mary Walker, director of Roman Focal Plane Industries at Goddard. “Its creation is the result of many years of innovation from a deeply dedicated team—a team that eagerly anticipates the amazing science that Roman will achieve.”

Once the FPS is installed in the spacecraft’s WFI – its camera – technicians will continue to build by integrating the device’s radiators.

“to optimum performance“Detectors should be operating at minus 288 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 178 degrees Celsius,” said Greg Mosby, an astrophysicist and Roman detector scientist at Goddard. Cool off, or else its heat would saturate the detectors, effectively blinding the observatory. The radiators will reroute wasted heat Many of the components of the device are away from detectors and into cold space, ensuring that Roman will be sensitive to faint signals from distant galaxies and other cosmic bodies.

After the radiators are installed, the Roman Cam will be complete and ready for heat-vacuum tests this summer. The team expects to return the entire WFI to Goddard in the spring of 2024, when it will eventually be integrated into the rest of the observatory.

the quote: NASA Completes Heart of Roman Space Telescope’s Primary Instrument (2023, May 17) Retrieved May 17, 2023 from

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