The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope, scheduled for launch in 2013.
Members of the Eckart group of the 1st Institute of Physics participate actively in the European test team for the MIRI functional and performance tests.
JWST's primary mirror will have a diameter of 6.5 meter. In order to be foldable, which is necessary for its transport into orbit, the mirror is divided into 18 segments of comb-like shape.
To keep an operating temperature of 8K, the telescope has to be shielded from thermal radiation coming from the sun and the earth. Residing at the L2 Lagrange point, a large sunshield (unfolded: ca. 650 m2) seperates the telescope into a sun facing side with a temperature of around 80K and a cold anti-sun side.
The MIRI European Consortium
MIRI is developped in an international partnership (50 / 50) between JPL and a nationally funded consortium of European institutes, working with ESA and NASA. This consortium consists of 21 institutes, spread over all Europe. The 1st Institute of Physics of the University of Cologne contributes to MIRI with the flight-hardware of the LRSDPA and is part of the test team that is in charge of evaluating the performance of MIRI.
The observatory will consist of three main science instruments:
Funded by the German federal department for education and research (BMBF) under the project numbers: 50OS0502 & 50OS0801.
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