ADNET Staff Help NASA Look to the Stars

ADNET staff on its Space and Earth Science Data Analysis 3 (SESDA 3) prime contract at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) contributed to developing and testing the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec), one of four instruments that make up the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The 1.4 metric ton ISIM is the science instrument payload of the JWST and will help make the JWST the most powerful space telescope ever built.

ADNET engineers supported the design, development, and testing of the NIRSpec’s microshutter array (MSA). Each MSA is a grid of approximately 250,000 tiny doors that can be individually commanded to be closed or opened to allow light to pass through; the NIRSpec camera includes four MSAs. Light collected by the NIRSpec is separated into individual spectral lines. By analyzing these lines, scientists can derive a wealth of information about an object, such as its chemical composition, mass, distance, velocity, and temperature.

Now that the NIRSpec and other instruments have been installed in the ISIM, ADNET staff are supporting space simulation tests of the complete ISIM in Goddard’s Space Environment Simulator. These tests will determine how the ISIM instruments behave in the cold and vacuum of space, and will be followed with a series of “room temperature” tests to simulate the ISIM’s ride into space. Assuming these tests are successful, the ISIM will be delivered for mating with the telescope in October 2015. The JWST is scheduled for a 2018 launch.

ADNET Systems, Inc. is an award winning Federal contractor providing technology-enabling science, engineering, and management solutions. The company provides its customers with service excellence through comprehensive and cost-effective delivery, reliable operations, and innovative solutions. Founded in 1991, ADNET has earned numerous awards and accolades, including being recognized as NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Small-Business Contractor of the Year in both 2008 and 2009. In addition, ADNET was the Goddard Small Business nominee for the NASA-wide George M. Low Excellence Award in 2009 and 2011.

For more information about ADNET’s SESDA work, visit the SESDA Web page: