The James Webb Space Telescope near-infrared camera (JWST NIRCam) has two 2.′2×2.′2 fields of view that can be observed with either imaging or spectroscopic modes. Either of two R∼1500 grisms with orthogonal dispersion directions can be used for slitless spectroscopy over λ=2.4 to 5.0 μm in each module, and shorter wavelength observations of the same fields can be obtained simultaneously. We describe the design drivers and parameters of the grisms and present the latest predicted spectroscopic sensitivities, saturation limits, resolving powers, and wavelength coverage values. Simultaneous short wavelength (0.6 to 2.3 μm) imaging observations of the 2.4 to 5.0 μm spectroscopic field can be performed in one of several different filter bands, either infocus or defocused via weak lenses internal to the NIRCam. The grisms are available for single-object time-series spectroscopy and wide-field multiobject slitless spectroscopy modes in the first cycle of JWST observations. We present and discuss operational considerations including subarray sizes and data volume limits. Potential scientific uses of the grisms are illustrated with simulated observations of deep extragalactic fields, dark clouds, and transiting exoplanets. Information needed to plan observations using these spectroscopic modes is also provided.
The integral field spectrograph, spectrometer for infrared faint field imaging (SPIFFI), has complex line profile shapes that vary with wavelength and pixel scale, the origins of which have been sought since the instrument construction. SPIFFI is currently operational as part of SINFONI at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and will be upgraded and incorporated into the VLT instrument enhanced resolution imager and spectrograph (ERIS). We conducted an investigation of the line profiles based on the measurements we could take with the instrument calibration unit, as well as laboratory measurements of spare SPIFFI optical components. Cryogenic measurements of a spare SPIFFI diffraction grating showed significant periodic deformation. These measurements match the cryogenic deformation expected from bimetallic bending stress based on a finite element analysis of the lightweighted grating blank. The periodic deformation of the grating surface gives rise to satellite peaks in the diffraction pattern of the grating. An optical simulation including the cryogenic grating deformation reproduces the behavior of the SPIFFI line profiles with both wavelength and pixel scale as measured with the instrument calibration unit. The conclusion is that cryogenic deformation of the diffraction gratings is responsible for the nonideal line profiles, and that the diffraction gratings should be replaced during the upgrade for optimal instrument performance.
Directly deposited optical-blocking filters (DD OBFs) have the potential to improve filter performance and lower risk and cost for future x-ray imaging spectroscopy missions. However, they have not been fully characterized on high-performance charge coupled devices (CCDs). This paper reports the results of DD OBFs processed on high-performance photon-counting CCDs. It is found that CCD performance is not degraded by deposition of such filters. X-ray and optical transmission through the OBF is characterized and found to match theoretical expectation. Light-leaks through pinholes and the side and back surfaces are found to lower the optical extinction ratio; various coating processes are developed to resolve these issues.
We propose and apply two methods to estimate pupil plane phase discontinuities for two realistic scenarios on the very large telescope (VLT) and Keck. The methods use both phase diversity and a form of image sharpening. For the case of VLT, we simulate the “low wind effect” (LWE) that is responsible for focal plane errors in the spectro-polarimetric high contrast exoplanet research (SPHERE) system in low wind and good seeing conditions. We successfully estimate the simulated LWE using both methods and show that they are complimentary to one another. We also demonstrate that single image phase diversity (also known as phase retrieval with diversity) is also capable of estimating the simulated LWE when using the natural defocus on the SPHERE/differential tip tilt sensor (DTTS) imager. We demonstrate that phase diversity can estimate the LWE to within 30-nm root mean square wavefront error (RMS WFE), which is within the allowable tolerances to achieve a target SPHERE contrast of 10−6. Finally, we simulate 153-nm RMS of piston errors on the mirror segments of Keck and produce NIRC2 images subject to these effects. We show that a single, diverse image with 1.5 waves (peak-to-valley) of focus can be used to estimate this error to within 29-nm RMS WFE, and a perfect correction of our estimation would increase the Strehl ratio of an NIRC2 image by 12%.