NASA needs wide-field electro-optical instrument for future WFIRST infrared space telescope

GREENBELT, Md. – U.S. space scientists are reaching out to industry to find companies able to develop an electro-optical wide-field satellite instrument for the future space-based Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).

Standardization of COTS components in space
Standardization of COTS components in space
GREENBELT, Md. – U.S. space scientists are reaching out to industry to find companies able to develop an electro-optical wide-field satellite instrument for the future space-based Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).

Officials of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., issued a sources-sought notice (NASA-GSFC-WFIRST-Wide-Field-Opto-Mechanical-Assembly) on Friday for the WFIRST Wide Field Opto-Mechanical Assembly (WOMA) project.

NASA-Greenbelt scientists are looking for a company able to develop such an optical-mechanical assembly and integrate it with government-furnished equipment to create a flight-qualified wide-field instrument for the future WFIRST space instrument.

As part of the job, NASA is looking for a company not only able to develop the WFIRST wide-field opto-mechanical assembly, but also to provide post-delivery support for payload level calibration, the observatory integration and test program, and on-orbit observatory checkout and commissioning.

Related: Army needs wide-area electro-optical sensors for manned and unmanned aircraft

WFIRST will be a NASA observatory to perform wide-field imaging and surveys of the near infrared sky. WFIRST will be six-year mission, and is scheduled for launch in 2025 to orbit at the Sun-Earth L2 point.

The wide-field instrument for the future WFIRST spacecraft will have two channels: a combination of wide-field imaging and spectrographic channels called the wide field channel; and a narrow-field spectrographic channel - the integral field channel.

The two channels, with their optics and science data electronics are to be located in an on-orbit replaceable cold-sensing module beneath the WFIRST optical telescope assembly. Cooling for the detectors in the cold-sensing module will come from a passive thermal connection to a non-replaceable facility cryogenic radiator located on the WFIRST outer barrel assembly.

The wide-field instrument's warm electronics will be in an on-orbit replaceable warm electronics module on the spacecraft bus. The cold and warm modules are to be electrically connected by the inter-module harness. In addition to carrying out scientific observations, the wide-field channel will provide fine pointing control to the observatory based on the stars.

Related: Neptec to design International Space Station sensors

The wide-field instrument opto-mechanical assembly will make up a major portion of the wide-field instrument. Government-furnished equipment will include wide field focal plane assembly and electronics, focal plane electronics box and flight software, instrument command and data handling box and flight software, wide field channel grism, integral field channel and electronics, relative calibration system and electronics, facility cryogenic radiator, wide-field instrument latches, blind mate connector assembly, wide-field instrument robotic servicing interface plate, and guide rails.

Companies interested should email responses no later than 28 March 2017 to NASA's Patrick DeWyngaert at patrick.b.dewyngaert@nasa.gov.

For questions or concerns contact NASA's Patrick DeWyngaert by email at patrick.b.dewyngaert@nasa.gov, or by phone at 301-286-7905. Also contact Julie Anne Janus by email at julie.a.janus@nasa.gov, or by phone at 301-286-4931.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/notices/a1bbff30db15ba6d26d0c51095cd1cca.

Learn more: search the Aerospace & Defense Buyer's Guide for companies, new products, press releases, and videos

More in Avionics