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26 September 2007 A microshutter-based field selector for JWST's multi-object near infrared spectrograph
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One of the James Webb Space Telescope's (JWST) primary science goals is to characterize the epoch of galaxy formation in the universe and observe the first galaxies and clusters of galaxies. This goal requires multi-band imaging and spectroscopic data in the near infrared portion of the spectrum for large numbers of very faint galaxies. Because such objects are sparse on the sky at the JWST resolution, a multi-object spectrograph is necessary to efficiently carry out the required observations. We have developed a fully programmable array of microshutters that will be used as the field selector for the multi-object Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) on JWST. This device allows apertures to be opened at the locations of selected galaxies in the field of view while blocking other unwanted light from the sky background and bright sources. In practice, greater than 100 objects within the field of view can be observed simultaneously. This field selection capability greatly improves the sensitivity and efficiency of NIRSpec. In this paper, we describe the microshutter arrays, their development, characteristics, fabrication, testing, and progress toward delivery of a flight-qualified field selection subsystem to the NIRSpec instrument team.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert F. Silverberg, Richard Arendt, David E. Franz, Gunther Kletetschka, Alexander Kutyrev, Mary J. Li, S. Harvey Moseley, David A. Rapchun, Stephen Snodgrass, David W. Sohl, and Leroy Sparr "A microshutter-based field selector for JWST's multi-object near infrared spectrograph", Proc. SPIE 6678, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XV, 66780Q (26 September 2007);


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