The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on JWST will provide direct imaging and medium resolution spectroscopy (R~3000) over the wavelength range 5 - 28.3 micron, coronagraphic imaging at 10.65, 11.4, 15.5 and 23 micron, and low resolution spectroscopy (R~100) over the wavelength range 5 - 10 micron. JWST's cold, large aperture and MIRI's state-of-the-art detector arrays are expected to provide ~50 times the sensitivity and 7 times the angular resolution of Spitzer. As a result, MIRI is expected to make important contributions to all four of the primary science themes for JWST: 1.) discovery of the "first light"; 2.) assembly of galaxies: history of star formation, growth of black holes, production of heavy elements; 3.) how stars and planetary systems form; and 4.) evolution of planetary systems and conditions for life.
MIRI is jointly developed by the US and a nationally funded European Consortium (EC) under the auspices of the European Space Agency. George Rieke (University of Arizona) and Gillian Wright (UK Astronomy Technology Centre) are the MIRI Science Leads. JPL chairs joint overall management and system engineering teams, and is responsible for the focal plane system and the flight software. The EC is responsible for the optics, optical bench, and assembly, integration, and test of the MIRI instrument.
Over the last year, the MIRI instrument was successfully integrated into the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and checked out at cryogenic temperatures during the Cryo Vac 1 Risk Reduction (CV1RR) testing. The MIRI CV1RR testing results show that the instrument is performing as expected as the CV1RR data are fully consistent with the previous instrument level testing results taken at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the United Kingdom.
May 31, 2012
The MIRI flight model was flown from London Heathrow airport to Washington Dulles International Airport on May 29, 2012. It was subsequently trucked to Goddard Space Flight Center and unpacked on May 30th. It now rests in the clean-room awaiting integration into the ISIM. View MIRI and monitor the progress of ISIM integration.