A science instrument known as the Near-InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) is packaged with the guide camera (FGS), but is functionally independent. The NIRISS will be capable of wide-field grism spectroscopy with R~150 between 1.0 – 2.5 microns; single-object grism spectroscopy with R~700 between 0.6 – 3.0 microns; aperture-masking interferometry with a non-redundant mask (NRM) between 3.8 - 4.8 µm; and broad-band imaging across its 2.2' x 2.2' field between 1.0 - 5.0 µm. NIRISS is expected to contribute to all of the JWST Science Themes: 1) The End of the Dark Ages: First Light and Reionization; 2) The Assembly of Galaxies; 3) The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems; and 4) Planetary Systems and the Origin of Life.
The Canadian Space Agency is providing the NIRISS to the JWST Project. The prime contractor is Com Dev. The Principal Investigator for the NIRISS is René Doyon from the Université de Montréal.
2013 October 29
NIRISS completed its first suite of tests under cryogenic conditions in the large vacuum chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The tests featured "first light" observations for all the observing modes of NIRISS. Although a few glitches occurred, initial analysis of the test data show that NIRISS is performing marvelously.
2013 March 1
NIRISS and the FGS became the first flight instruments to be attached to the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM), which is currently located in the large clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
2012 December 21
NIRISS and the FGS successfully completed room-temperature functional tests at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
2012 November 15
NIRISS and the FGS became the first JWST instruments to be accepted formally by NASA during the Delivery Review Board meeting at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
2012 July 30
The Canadian Space Agency delivered NIRISS and the Fine Guidance Sensor to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center on July 30, 2012.