Ball Aerospace and its partners at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have successfully completed the assembly of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope's camera system, called the Wide Field Instrument (WFI). The WFI will serve as the observatory's primary instrument, providing the scientific community with detailed and expansive images of the cosmos.
The instrument will capture images at the same resolution as Roman's predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, but with a field of view at least 100 times greater. This scale of image collection will advance astronomers' access to new data considerably, promising the discovery of new planets outside of our solar system, a better understanding of the evolution of our universe, and novel insights into mysterious phenomena like dark matter and dark energy.
"The completion of the Wide Field Instrument's integration is something that Ball Aerospace, NASA, and the entire Roman team have been looking forward to for years," said Dr. Alberto Conti, vice president and general manager, of Civil Space, Ball Aerospace. "Tools like the WFI will push the boundaries of space exploration and help us fill longstanding gaps in our understanding of the universe around us."
NASA's team at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, built the WFI's focal plane system (FPS), relative calibration system, and instrument command and data handling electronics. Ball Aerospace designed and built the WFI's opto-mechanical assembly, which includes the optical bench, element wheel, thermal control system, alignment compensation mechanism, and more.
Click here to learn more about NASA's Roman Space Telescope.