The Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) will be the primary JWST imager in the wavelength range of 0.6 to 5 microns. NIRCam is required by many of the core science goals of JWST, including the detection of the early phases of star and galaxy formation, such as the first precursors to today's globular clusters; morphology and colors of galaxies at very high redshift in rest-frame optical wavelengths; detection of and light curves of distant supernovae; mapping dark matter via gravitational lensing; the study of stellar populations in nearby galaxies; detection, imaging and spectroscopy of protostars, protostellar and protoplanetary disks, and exoplanets. NIRCam is also the instrument used for wavefront sensing to enable control of the alignment and phasing of the primary mirror.
The Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) was built by a team at the University of Arizona (UoA) and Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center, led by Prof. Marcia Rieke at UoA. Its high sensitivity, wavelength multiplexing, and wide field of view enable diffraction-limited imaging and deep imaging surveys.
2015 October 7
The NIRCam team recently attended the 2015 JWST Calibration Summit where members presented pipeline processing topics such as data requirements, reference files and data products. The team delivered updated Commissioning Activity Requests (CARs) to the Commissioning Timeline Working Group. They continue to support the following: requirements for JWST Solar System observations, documentation, Astronomers Proposal Templates (APT), and the Exposure Time Calculator (ETC). Preparations continue for Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) Cryo-Vacuum Test 3 (CV3) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. During CV3, the team will provide on-console support. Ongoing planning activities for CV3 include, weekly planning telecons and the Test Readiness Review (TRR).
2015 April 27
NIRCam was successfully reinstalled in the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) on April 8, 2015. Before reintegration, new short-wavelength-channel detectors passed their vibration test and were installed in Module A. Currently, the team is analyzing detector data from Cryo-Vacuum Test 2 (CV2), preparing for ISIM CV3, reviewing Commissioning Activity Requests (CARs), developing the Ops Concept for Long-wavelength Grism exoplanet observations and developing the calibration pipeline concept for grism data. Watch the video of NIRCam being removed from ISIM following CV2 at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.