Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings of SPIE

Publication Date



The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), launched in December 2009, is a NASA-funded Explorer mission that is providing an all-sky survey in the mid-infrared with far greater sensitivity and resolution than any previous IR survey mission. The Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory designed, fabricated, and characterized the science payload, which is a cryogenically cooled infrared telescope with four 1024x1024 infrared focal plane arrays covering from 2.8 to 26 μm. Pre-launch characterization included measuring focus, image quality, repeatability, response non-linearity, saturation, latency, absolute response, flatfield, point response function, scanner linearity, and relative spectral response. This paper provides a brief overview of the payload, discusses pre-launch characterization methods, and presents key performance results from ground characterization and early on-orbit performance.