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Satellite Communications Technology

Teledyne to supply infrared detectors to NASA’s WFIRST astronomy mission

(15 June 2018 - Teledyne Technologies) NASA has awarded a contract to Teledyne Scientific & Imaging for the Short Wave Infra-Red (SWIR) Sensor Chip Assembly (SCA) for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) Project at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The contract is Cost-Plus-Award-Fee with a value of $23,035,123. The 29 month period of performance commences immediately and concludes October 31, 2020. In this contract, Teledyne will produce 72 SWIR SCA devices for the WFIRST Space Flight Focal Plane Assembly.

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The H4RG-10 focal plane array has 4096×4096 pixels, with 16.7 million pixels in each array. The H4RG-10 is the largest infrared array qualified for use in space, a significant step beyond the 1 million pixel (H1R) array used in the Hubble Space Telescope and the 4.2 million pixel (H2RG) arrays used in the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). (courtesy: Teledyne Technologies)

WFIRST will utilize 18 of Teledyne’s H4RG-10 arrays in the focal plane assembly. With over 300 million pixels, it will be the largest infrared focal plane operating in space when it launches in the mid-2020s. WFIRST will have nearly 300 times as many pixels as there are in the infrared camera of the Hubble Space Telescope, enabling it to take images that have 100 times the field of view of Hubble. The large field of view enables WFIRST to survey large areas of the sky to measure the effects of dark matter and dark energy on the distribution of galaxies in the universe.

The H4RG-10 infrared array is at a mature state, advanced to NASA technology readiness level 6 (TRL-6) during a 45-month development contract that commenced in 2014. TRL-6 is the level at which components are qualified for use in the harsh environment of space. In addition to the infrared arrays, Teledyne has a development contract with NASA for the visible light detectors that will be used in the coronograph instrument of WFIRST.

“Teledyne is proud to be NASA’s partner for space astronomy with the infrared and visible detectors of WFIRST provided by our Digital Imaging segment,” said Robert Mehrabian, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Teledyne. “This mission exemplifies Teledyne’s commitment to NASA, with Teledyne detectors also being used on Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, and many Earth science and planetary missions.”

About Teledyne Technologies

Teledyne Technologies is a leading provider of sophisticated instrumentation, digital imaging products and software, aerospace and defense electronics, and engineered systems. Teledyne Technologies’ operations are primarily located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Western and Northern Europe.