Pre-Launch Characterization of the WISE Payload

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings of SPIE

Publication Date



The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), launched on December 14, 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 WISE science payload is a cryogenically cooled infrared telescope with four 1024x1024 infrared focal plane arrays covering from 2.8 to 26 μm, which was designed, fabricated, and characterized by Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory. Pre-launch charaterization included measuring focus, repeatability, response non-linearity, saturation, latency, absolute response, flatfield, point response function, scanner linearity, and relative spectral response. We will provide a brief overview of the payload, discuss the overall characterization approach, review several pre-launch characterization methods in detail, and present selected results from ground characterization and early on-orbit performance.

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