Author Topic: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)  (Read 50490 times)

Offline Star One

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #160 on: 03/28/2018 07:23 PM »
WFIRST work continues despite budget and schedule uncertainty

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At a meeting of the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics of the National Academies’ Space Studies Board here March 27, NASA officials said WFIRST was on track to complete a review called Key Decision Point (KDP) B April 11, allowing it to enter Phase B of its development.

That came after an effort to reduce the mission’s cost to $3.2 billion triggered by an independent review in October. That review concluded WFIRST’s cost had grown to $3.9 billion, with potential additional increases of up to $300 million to meet a “Class A” risk classification used by large missions rather than the less-stringent Class B that WFIRST was operating under.

That cost-cutting is complete. “We did, in fact, come up with a baseline that fits at $3.2 billion, and retains in excess of 30 percent reserves in the lifecycle cost,” said Jeffrey Kruk, WFIRST project scientist, in a presentation at the meeting. That cost estimate is at the 50 percent confidence level, he said, the requirement for the KDP-B review.

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Other cuts did affect the mission’s science, he acknowledged. The mission relaxed the performance requirements for detectors used by its primary wide-field instrument, although a decrease in operating temperature enabled by another design change will help reduce noise.

The biggest change, he said, is turning the other WFIRST instrument, a coronagraph, into solely a technology demonstration. “The direction to us was that we were being too ambitious” by adding science requirements to the instrument that informed its design, he said. “That had impacts in a lot of areas.”

http://spacenews.com/wfirst-work-continues-despite-budget-and-schedule-uncertainty/

Offline Archibald

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #161 on: 03/29/2018 09:22 AM »
In 2012 the NRO handled NASA two failed FIA spy satellites. While NASA chose to make WFIRST out of them, before that decision they examined other concepts. Marshall got a meeting / workshop with the name of SALSO. They asked scientists what would they do with the NRO satellites.

Well, they got no less than 33 proposals, most of them mind-blowing.

https://exep-archive.jpl.nasa.gov/reportsAndDocuments/SALSO/

https://web.archive.org/web/20131026224426/http://salso.msfc.nasa.gov/

My favorite is the Mars telescope that look up and down, and also the ISS-mounted LIDAR.

by the way, NASA got two satellites and WFIRST will use only one of them. What will happen to the second one ?
(yes, I know the usual caveats: NASA strained budget, the technical challenges turning a spysat into a telescope, and the like)
« Last Edit: 03/29/2018 09:23 AM by Archibald »
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #162 on: 03/29/2018 09:35 AM »
....
by the way, NASA got two satellites and WFIRST will use only one of them. What will happen to the second one ?
(yes, I know the usual caveats: NASA strained budget, the technical challenges turning a spysat into a telescope, and the like)

Since NASA could not sale the NRO discard. Lifetime leasing the second mirror/satellite to Blue Origins for the Jeff Bezos Observatory as a serviceable Hubble replacement at L2. Sadly, not really possible until the current POTUS is gone. ;)

Offline Archibald

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #163 on: 03/29/2018 10:07 AM »
I don't understand a single word of that answer. Dare to clarify ? is that tongue-in-cheek ?

« Last Edit: 03/29/2018 10:09 AM by Archibald »
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #164 on: 05/19/2018 08:23 AM »
Quote
Bridenstine optimistic WFIRST will avoid cancellation
by Jeff Foust — May 17, 2018

WASHINGTON — As House appropriators approved a spending bill May 17 that partially restores funding for a NASA astrophysics mission slated for cancellation, the agency’s administrator said he was “90 percent” confident that the mission will continue.

http://spacenews.com/bridenstine-optimistic-wfirst-will-avoid-cancellation/

Offline chirata

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #165 on: 05/23/2018 01:41 PM »
Update: WFIRST entered Phase B yesterday.

Offline Star One

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #166 on: 05/23/2018 08:35 PM »
WFIRST’s second chance

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There’s a saying often used in the space community that you’re not a real NASA mission until you’ve been threatened with cancellation. There is some truth to that: many NASA missions that ultimately were successful faced the threat of termination, either by the agency or Congress. For example, the new book Chasing New Horizons is filled with near-death experiences for the New Horizons mission to Pluto (see “Review: Chasing New Horizons”, The Space Review, April 30, 2018)

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3497/1

Offline AnalogMan

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #167 on: 05/23/2018 09:41 PM »
NASA Awards Contract for Space Telescope Mission
May 23, 2018 - CONTRACT RELEASE C18-017

NASA has awarded a contract to Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, Boulder, Colorado, for the primary instrument components for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).

Called the Wide Field Instrument (WFI) Opto-Mechanical Assembly, the cost-plus-award-fee contract has a value of approximately $113.2 million. The period of performance is from May 2018 through June 2026.

Managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, WFIRST is fully-funded for Fiscal Year 2018. Work will continue on the mission in this time period until appropriations for Fiscal Year 2019 have been determined.

The contract requires Ball Aerospace to design, analyze, develop, fabricate, integrate, test and evaluate the Wide Field Instrument Opto-Mechanical Assembly for the WFIRST mission. In addition, Ball will support the subsequent integration, test, evaluation, and validation of the WFI. Ball also will provide post-delivery support to payload and observatory integration and testing, and to prelaunch, launch and commissioning activities at the Mission Operations Center, and supply and maintain the instrument ground support equipment.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-contract-for-space-telescope-mission-0

Offline Star One

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #168 on: 07/24/2018 07:47 PM »
NASA studying potential additional cuts in WFIRST

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At a meeting July 24 of NASA’s Astrophysics Advisory Committee here, Jeff Kruk, project scientist for the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), said the project was asked by NASA Headquarters to study additional ways it could reduce costs for the spacecraft’s coronagraph instrument, which has already been downgraded to a technology demonstration.

“The only other shoe that might drop is that we’ve been asked to provide a study to headquarters on additional possible cost reductions to the coronagraph,” he said. “It’s not that we’ve been directed to do that, but we’ve been asked to present options.” That study is due late this year.

Quote
WFIRST has also lost some capability to its primary instrument, a wide-field imager. Kruk said that the Canadian Space Agency notified the project in the spring that it will not be able to contribute the Integral Field Channel, an element of that instrument that would perform spectra on discrete parts of the instrument’s field of view.

“This had been one of the central parts of the supernova program,” he said. “That is a significant change.” The instrument would have provided a “reasonably high quality” spectrum of each supernova studied to measure its redshift, or distance. Kruk said there was a “plausible path” to obtain that data instead through other observations of the supernova and its host galaxy.

https://spacenews.com/nasa-studying-potential-additional-cuts-in-wfirst/

Offline CuddlyRocket

Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #169 on: 08/09/2018 05:33 AM »
Predictions of the WFIRST Microlensing Survey I: Bound Planet Detection Rates (arXiv)

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(Abstract)
The Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is the next NASA astrophysics flagship mission, to follow the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The WFIRST mission was chosen as the top-priority large space mission of the 2010 astronomy and astrophysics decadal survey in order to achieve three primary goals: to study dark energy via a wide-field imaging survey, to study exoplanets via a microlensing survey, and to enable a guest observer program. Here we assess the ability of the several WFIRST designs to achieve the goal of the microlensing survey to discover a large sample of cold, low-mass exoplanets with semimajor axes beyond roughly one AU, which are largely impossible to detect with any other technique. We present the results of a suite of simulations that span the full range of the proposed WFIRST architectures, from the original design envisioned by the decadal survey, to the current design, which utilizes a 2.4-m telescope donated to NASA. By studying such a broad range of architectures, we are able to determine the impact of design trades on the expected yields of detected exoplanets. In estimating the yields we take particular care to ensure that our assumed Galactic model predicts microlensing event rates that match observations, consider the impact that inaccuracies in the Galactic model might have on the yields, and ensure that numerical errors in lightcurve computations do not bias the yields for the smallest mass exoplanets. For the nominal baseline WFIRST design and a fiducial planet mass function, we predict that a total of ∼1400 bound exoplanets with mass greater than ∼0.1 M⊕ should be detected, including ∼200 with mass ≲3 M⊕. WFIRST should have sensitivity to planets with mass down to ∼0.02 M⊕, or roughly the mass of Ganymede.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #170 on: 09/10/2018 02:43 PM »
Exoplanet report recommends development of large space telescope [and also backs the development of WFIRST]:

https://spacenews.com/exoplanet-report-recommends-development-of-large-space-telescope/

Quote from: article
The report also backed development of WFIRST because of both its ability to carry out a search for exoplanets known as a microlensing survey as well as test a coronagraph that can be used to block light from individual stars, enabling direct observations of planets or dust dusks orbiting them. [...] “WFIRST will address two very important science questions,” Gaudi said, hence the committee’s recommendation “that NASA should launch WFIRST to do the microlensing survey and to demonstrate the technique of coronagraphy on exoplanets.”

For a copy of the report, see the following links:

https://www.nap.edu/login.php?record_id=25187&page=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nap.edu%2Fdownload%2F25187

https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25187/exoplanet-science-strategy
« Last Edit: 09/10/2018 02:53 PM by yg1968 »

Offline jbenton

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #171 on: 09/14/2018 08:55 AM »
I just saw this in a GPS-III thread:


Yes. But my point was that so far all those "programs requiring vertical integration" have ended up horizontal when it came time to fly.
none of those programs have flown on Falcon.  GPS-III program has been basically concurrent with Falcon 9
So the GPS-III satellites have been built with horizontal integration in mind? Was that because SpaceX uses horizontal integration?
GPS-III sats are built on Lockheed Martin's A2100 commercial satellite bus.  So, given that the payloads aren't specialized structures requiring VI, it's not that surprising that they have been capable of horizontal integration from the start.  I don't think it is in any way reasonable to have classed them as part of a "program requiring vertical integration." 

Do you have an example of a technical reason to require VI? I've been under the impression it's mostly about packaging to hide the satellite from view at all times.

Some instruments cannot handle rotational loads of being rotated vertical or even being horizontal without some sort of support.  Directives in the DOD have been in place to limit VI from the design phase up, but not everything can yet or it is not possible.
Think large space-based cameras with precisely-aligned optics, designed so that all g-loading will always be in the same direction ("down, when mounted on the rocket").

GPS doesn't inherently seem like such a payload, although the atomic clocks might use some of the same sort of precisely-aligned laser/optics.
But "[t]he satellite will also be the first GPS craft to be attached to its launcher horizontally" according to the release.  If I'm understanding Jim properly, he's suggesting that the reason is more to do with this generation of GPS satellite (eg, switching to an atomic clock implementation that doesn't require a delicate optical train) than feedback from SpaceX HI-vs-VI costs.

"large space-based camera with precisely-aligned optics" seems exactly the sort of NRO payload from which WFIRST's optics are derived. So I'm curious: can WFIRST do horizontal integration, or must it be loaded vertical?

Either way it should not be a problem, because ULA has always done vertical integration, and SpaceX is working with the NRO (or so I heard) to do vertical integration for certain, specific classified payloads. Whether it flys on Delta Heavy or Falcon Heavy it should be fine, but I'm just curious.

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