Wide Field Camera 3
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Project Updates 2001


The first two flight CCDs delivered to Ball for packaging.

IR FPA Process Review completed.

Discovered a "pitch up" problem with the optical bench alignment at the Ball WFAS and resolved this metrology issue.

IR filter characterization completed for the baseline set of filters selected by the SOC.

The GSE that caused the damage to the flight CCD has been isolated and is being repaired.


All planned flight detectors are delivered and in-house.

Flight detector testing is proceeding as quickly as possible to support the detector enclosure build schedule. One flight CCD was damaged during testing, and is being returned to Marconi for analysis.

Optical bench integration proceeding well at Ball, but is somewhat constrained due to resource contention with ACS returning to Ball for a final RAS/HOMS test.

The first engineering Main Electronics Box completed.

IR cold enclosure passes qualification testing.

Descope planning process reactivated in response to continuing budgetary pressures on HST.


Successful installation and alignment of the optical bench onto the WFAS system.

Detector electrical isolation issues resolved.

UVIS "air gap" filters successfully manufactured. Filter deliveries continue are still late, but sufficient quantities are being delivered to maintain schedule.

IR cold enclosure qualification testing under way.

Flight detector testing "heats up" at the DCL and at Ball (for the CCDs).

14th SOC meeting held at STScI for a successful CCD Detector Milestone Review. The first pair of CCDs for the flight builds was selected. The SOC reviewed and approved several internal descopes.


The optical bench was shipped to Ball at the start of the month! This is a major milestone which enables the Ball team to start integrating the optics, electronics, and detectors. The next 12 months will be exciting indeed, culminating in the delivery of the bench with all the goodies back to GSFC for instrument-level integration.

Received the last three engineering unit IR focal planes from RSC. One of these devices, #31, is of exceptional quality and is likely to be a flight unit. We have now received all 12 of 12 engineering unit deliveries. Three flight deliveries are expected next month.

The flight spare IR enclosure has completed its qualification testing.

Received two additional Marconi flight CCD. Two were expected and two were received. Marconi has now delivered 4 of 6 flight CCDs, with the rest expected next month.

The TECFIRE subsystem tests revealed an anomaly that was eventually traced to a bad solder joint. Processes are being improved to prevent recurrence.

A better adhesive has been identified for use with the UVIS filters from Barr (to solve some structural concerns with the air-gap design).

A major system engineering effort to update the verification matrix, risk list, and descope list has been completed.


Testing of the optical bench has completed. All anomalies have been traced to test setup issues, with the result that the bench meets or exceeds performance requirements in all areas. These additional tests have delayed the bench shipment to Ball which had been scheduled for the end of this month.

An internal project integration readiness review was completed for the Ball activities in the coming months.

The IR filter followup telecon for the Filter Milestone Review was completed successfully.

All IR filters are received from the vendors.

UVIS filter deliveries continue to be a challenging area. In particular, the UV filter design with epoxy fill is suspected to be the cause of throughput degradation, and an air-gap design is being developed.

Some of the requirements on the narrow-band UVIS filters have been relaxed to help expedite delivery.

A CCD Process Review was held to examine the processing risks for installing the Marconi detectors into the Ball enclosure. The recommendations are being incorporated into our planning.

A few weeks of the Marconi CCD testing for the high temperature soak had been at 150C instead of 110C. This has been corrected. The intermediate results look very encouraging, with little change noticeable after 2 weeks of high temperature soak.

IR FPA #18 has completed characterization, and was shipped to Ball for the IR Qualification Enclosure build.

The Optical Stimulus work has moved from the GSFC Building 20 SLAC facility (deintegration and metrology) to the Orbital facility in Beltsville for reintegration and testing.


The optical bench testing at GSFC revealed a few anomalies which are being investigated.

The first two (of six) Marconi flight CCDs arrive at the DCL.

One of the two Marconi “delivered” engineering devices has been retained at Marconi for the high temperature soak test at 110C.

Received another three engineering unit IR focal planes from RSC. These are of “almost” flight quality, and will be handled in a manner that will allow them to be used as flight devices if necessary.

Ball took the first images of the IR surrogate detector (bare mux) using the engineering model Detector Electronics Box (DEB).

The 6-stage TECs were delivered to Ball for the IR enclosure. There are some questions about their efficiency, and additional units are being procured.

The UVIS filter followup telecon for the Filter Milestone Review was completed successfully. While we still have some stragglers for the filters, the review panel has expressed confidence that the normal processes within the project will be successful at dealing with these challenges.

All optics metallized coatings are completed.


The optical bench arrives at GSFC! Vibration and metrology tests have begun and look great.

Marconi delivers the first engineering units for WFC3, as well as two red-coated devices for ACS (a little ahead of schedule).

Received another three engineering unit IR focal planes from RSC. One of these is near flight quality.IR FPA #15 tests at the DCL confirm the ultra-low dark current. Other detailed characteristics of this device have been measured and are being discussed with RSC. Delays in the IR Qualification Detector Enclosure need date allows us to select a more recent RSC delivery, FPA #18, for delivery to Ball for the build. This will allow for more detailed testing on FPA #15.

We successfully held the first WFC3 Milestone Review for the filters during the 13th SOC meeting on June 11-13. The SOC was pleased with the results. We will have a followup meeting at the end of July after all of the filters have been received.

All powered optics received from Tinsley.


Optical bench cold plate delivered to GSFC.

Optical bench delayed to accommodate some rework.

RSC delivered the last two IR muxes (with Kovar pins) to the DCL. DCL characterized mux M10, and delivered it to Ball for the IR Detector Surrogate Enclosure.

CCD #153 irradiated. Ready for post-irradiation characterization.

CCD devices #188 and #165 delivered to Ball for the CCD Surrogate Enclosure.

Meeting held at Marconi to review the data packages for Batch 4 devices.

Working with Barr on detailed prioritization and planning for deliveries. The first IR filters arrived. UVIS deliveries on-going.

After failure of the ACS Fairchild CCDs in Build 3', the HST Project decided to use 4 WFC3 wafers from Marconi Batch 4 for ACS. These will be coated red and delivered to ACS for Build 3''. Delivery is accelerated (by July) to accommodate the ACS schedule. Impacts on WFC3 are non-negligible but manageable, and are being assessed. Net result is a delay of 2 months for the final WFC3 flight devices (intermediate deliveries are less affected).


Optical bench assembly is proceeding well. All the parts have been made and are being assembled.

Delivery to GSFC is scheduled for next month. (See our latest images).

TECFIRE Peer Review completed. All thermal systems designs are now complete.

Received 3 engineering unit IR focal planes from RSC. One of these devices is claimed to have extremely good dark current (but somewhat low QE) according to RSC testing. The DCL will confirm and provide feedback to RSC for future lots. The 2 Kovar pin muxes for the IR surrogate enclosure have been received and will be tested at the DCL before delivery to Ball.

One Marconi engineering device from Batch 4 has been measured. All parameters are better than required for flight! QE is not yet measured, pending completion of the test setup commissioning. The charge injection feature has been characterized for (front-side engineering device) #152. Performance before irradiation is very promising. It will be irradiated next month.

The overall WFC3 Project schedule is being replanned for the November 2003 launch. This replan will be completed next month.


Final design review for the Optical Stimulus completed.

Additional flight-like packaged WFC3-1R muxes received. The first flight engineering model deliveries renegotiated due to lateness of Kovar pins. Deliveries staggered into April. Testing at Rockwell show very promising results.

Marconi Batch 3 devices did not make it through backside processing. First deliveries delayed by one month.

Decided to use frontside Marconi devices for the UVIS surrogate detector buildup (take out the SITe devices from ACS "qual unit 2").

WFC3 program plan being reassessed given new phasing constraints.

Additional CEB/DEB for the DCL descoped.

Instrument grounding design started and being reviewed.


12th SOC meeting at Ball. Discussed WFC3 milestone reviews and descope plans. The next SOC meeting will be the Filter Milestone Review in June.

Received the first optics (IR M1 and M2) from Tinsley. They look excellent.

Completed the first fit checks of the Optical Bench mockup and instrument Enclosure.

Flight filter deliveries from the manufacturers started (to JPL and GSFC for characterization).

Redundant CSM ruled out. DCL reorganization started due to staffing changes.


Characterization of the first pin-grid array WFC3-1R multiplexers completed and one device has been shipped to Ball for testing.

Received the first flight-like packaged WFC3-1R mux.

Marconi Batch 3 devices look very promising after the first cold tests.

Studies being completed for a redundant CSM.

The ACS/WFC3 "common spare" detector enclosure is in fabrication. The Optical Bench mockup went to the AAS.