Introduction

The Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) is the latest imager built for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and is planned to replace the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) in the next servicing mission to the HST. WFC3 (see Fig. 1) is configured as a two-channel instrument [1]. The UVIS channel provides diffraction limited imaging from the 2000 A to ~1 ^m and uses two large format e2v CCD43 4Kx2K CCD devices optimized for near-UV sensitivity. The IR channel is optimized for the 0.8-1.7 ^m region. It

uses a HgCdTe focal plane from Rockwell Scientific Company (RSC) with long wavelength cutoff at 1.7 ^m. The detector, operating at 150 K, is hybridized on a HAWAII-1R multiplexer providing 1024x1024 pixels of 18 ^m pitch, including 5 outer rows and columns of reference pixels.

Figure 1. Fully assembled WFC3 at the Goddard Space Flight Center prior to the installation of thermal blankets.

In September 2004 WFC3 successfully conducted a thermal vacuum performance characterization test at the Detector Characterization Laboratory (DCL) of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Its installation on the HST is contingent upon authorization of shuttle-based servicing of HST after a successful return-to-flight.

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