The Mid Infrared Instrument (MIRI)

 

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Left to right: MIRI Primary Structure undergoing inspection in the University’s Space Research Centre cleanroom. MIRI Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Model, developed at the University as part of the design process for the instrument.

MIRI consists of two separate channels which will provide high resolution images and high resolution spectra in the 5-28 μm band.

JWST with MIRI will be at least a hundred times more sensitive than any previous telescopes in the 5-30 µm range and will consequently make unique contributions to:

  • First Light and Reionization
  • Assembly of Galaxies
  • The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems
  • Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life

 

The imager subsystem consists of a filter wheel, folding optics and a solid-state infrared detector. It will be capable of providing diffraction-limited images with a pixel size of 0.1 ". The detector, (which will be provided by the US), will be a 1024 x 1024 Si:As detector array. The filter wheel will include a grism for low-resolution spectroscopy (R ~ 100 for 5-10 µm ) and various phase masks for coronography. The operational temperature of MIRI is ~7K. MIRI has overall dimensions ~1 m3 and mass ~100kg.

The spectrometer sub-system consists of an integral-field spectrometer that can provide a resolution of R ~ 3000 at 5μm and a field-of-view of 4" x 4". It will incorporate two infrared detectors, identical to the one used in the imager channel.

The Flight Model of MIRI was delivered to NASA in May 2012, and has been fitted into the JWST Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) which houses all the science instruments (see image below).

The JWST display at the National Space Centre features a full-size test model of MIRI, provided by the University's Space Research Centre.

MIRI being lifted into position prior to integration to the JWST ISIM. MIRI, in its support frame, is at centre of picture; ISIM is towards the right. 29th April 2013 at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland USA. [Image courtesy of NASA.]

MIRI being lifted into position prior to integration to the JWST ISIM. MIRI, in its support frame, is at centre of picture; ISIM is towards the right. 29th April 2013 at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland USA. [Image courtesy of NASA.]

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