Wide Field Camera 3
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Project Updates 2000


Successfully completed the WFC3 Critical Design Review.

The review team was exceptionally pleased with the depth and quality of the presentations.

Nothing has changed as a result of the past several years of storage.

The Ball contract is in place.


11th SOC meeting at GSFC, concentrating on detector characterization.

Completed evaluation of LLNL coatings and resizing the pupil mask in the IR channel. We will drop the LLNL coatings, and continue with optimizing the pupil stop for higher throughput.

Intense preparations for the CDR in December.

Front-side, engineering-grade Marconi devices received and are being tested.

RIAF metrology studies are on-going to understand the flexure in this piece of tooling.


Three Rockwell 1R-muxes delivered to GSFC for evaluation.

Marconi deliveries delayed due to packaging difficulties with the flight-like carriers.

Completed evaluation of LMFS 512x512 CCDs for radiation damage susceptibility. Detailed report in preparation.

Ball contract negotiations started.

All flight SOFA activities transferred to Ball, proposal received for this new work, and proposal evaluation begins.

Evaluating additional non-flight CEB/DEB at GSFC for flight detector characterization.

Completed a full mockup of the optical bench with rapid prototype components.

Detailed designs under way on all fronts.

Detailed CDR preparations begun.


Marconi CCD CDR completed. Expecting successful results from the first flight- like lot (minichannel, but no MPP). The first frontside devices will be delivered in early October. There is the possibility of early backside engineering devices from the second lot (minichannel, MPP, low full well).

Rockwell status meeting shows very promising results for the multiplexers and the engineering device detector material. The first muxes will be delivered in early October, followed by flight-like devices in early November.

LMFS CCD status meeting shows good progress at understanding the development issues with the LMFS/UofA backup CCD. Radiation damaged 512 x 512 device testing continues at the DCL. Additional 512 x 512 devices have been provided by LMFS to help understand the effects of the minichannel.

Detailed designs are proceeding well, and on track for the December CDR.


Ball letter contract in place. All major WFC3 subcontracts are now in place.

Rockwell confirms that we have working WFC3-1R muxes from the run at Conexant.

IR detector packaging issues resolved. Design is under way.

512x512 LMFS radiation damaged CCDs begin testing at the DCL.


Finalized Ball proposal evaluation. Letter contract in process.

Detailed budget and schedule review of WFC3 completed with HST management.

Tenth SOC meeting/Critical Science Review held at STScI.

Marconi CCD detector contract released.

Rockwell IR focal plane contract released.

All Subsystem Peer Reviews completed.


Successfully passed a NASA Headquarters chartered technical and programmatic review chaired by Larry Simmons.

Subsystem Peer Reviews continuing, about half done.

Risk management plan for the instrument was started.

Began discussions with ACS/LMFS on backup CCDs from Milpitas with Lesser/UofA coatings.

Ball proposal received mid-month.


Preparations completed for a comprehensive HQ review of the WFC3 program.

CEIS under configuration management.

Site visit to Marconi (EEV) in Chelmsford, England concludes with an informal agreement to begin WFC3 detector development there. Radiation testing results to date discussed with Marconi.

Enclosure Peer Review completed. Optical Bench CDR completed.

Formal Ball RFP issued for the flight hardware development work. Response due by mid-June.


Thermal and Electronics Peer Reviews completed.

Long lead optics procurements in place.

Established a 1.7 um baseline IR channel cutoff due to technological risks and budget constraints against a longer cutoff.

Schedule baseline completed, showing 12 weeks of slack to a July 27, 2003 launch date.

Restarted discussions with UofA and LMFS for backup detectors.

WFC3-1R IR detector multiplexer CDR held at Rockwell.

Additional radiation testing on Marconi (EEV) parts.


UVIS and IR filter contracts awarded.

Mechanisms Peer Review completed.

Ball preparing CCD procurement proposal package.

Established a 1000 lb mass limit for WFC3.

Descope plan completed.

Ninth SOC meeting at STScI prioritized the descope list and discussed the current budget and schedule status.


Peer Reviews for four major subsystems completed (software, optics, IR detector electronics, detector enclosures).

Marconi (EEV) test CCD irradiated and being characterized for radiation damage.

SITe/Lesser UV coated CCDs have had good success. The DCL has received a 1K x 1K test device with very good and stable QE.

Working towards deciding and implementing a UVIS detector acquisition plan in mid-March.

Instrument weight control studies under started.


IR focal plane multiplexor Preliminary Design review completed.

Detector procurements being worked. Detailed specifications are being iterated with the vendors for both the UVIS and IR focal planes.

We have received direction to continue pursuing the two-channel WFC3. Budget profiles have been modified to ramp up later. The delivery schedule has slipped and used up a large fraction of schedule contingency (still assuming a July 2003 launch).

Descope planning activities are continuing.

Preliminary designs continuing in preparation for the subsystem Peer Reviews in February. These will be at PDR-level for all major subsystems.