Future location of WFC3 in HST. It will replace WFPC2.
Wide Field Camera 3 will be one of the instruments replaced
servicing mission to Hubble Space Telescope in 2008.
My work as the Lead Electrical Engineer keeps me very busy on this
In the summer of 2002, I travelled to Ball Aerospace to
work on the instrument.
2002 Family Pictures in CO, compare to
pictures in CO.
Colorado is a beautiful state, with the Rocky Mountains and state
This was shot in the town of Estes Park, one hour outside of Boulder
and Building the
Here are some of the engineers hard at work in a lab, preparing part
of the ground support
system (mech sim unit). From left to right : Kimathi Tull,
Chan, Roger Ghesquire, Pat Blaire and Tim Schoeneweis.
James Simons is helping out here with the Low Voltage Power Supply
Here I am back at Goddard with the test set using it in the Electro
Magnetic Interference Lab.
Here, we test the LVPS for the amount of electrical noise it emits
to make sure it is quiet enough
for the Space Telescope.
On the other side of the wall is the EMI anechoic chamber with the
flight unit and
the rest of the test equipment. Compare this picture to this
one (bottom of page).
Another WFC3 box being tested, this time by Dave Schlossberg and Greg
Delo. In this case it is the
Detector Electronics Box on the flowbench (black box with the shiny
Once all the individual parts have been completed, we assemble the whole
instrument in our cleanroom (I'm the one in the middle). (3/03)
Top-down view over the instrument. Here it is mostly
missing the curved radiator, which will go on the left.
Here I am with Rich Hoffman, the harness engineer.
In April 2008, we performed our final Thermal Vacuum test on the
instrument. Thanks to the long hard road up to that point
chamber breaks in Thermal Vacuum test 2, we had a very succesful test
this time. Here we see the various operational consoles
that were used in the test. Far right is the thermal operator
station, in the empty chair is the Test Director, to the left is the
Instrument Operator (Kimathi in that seat). To the left of
are the four to five Science and Optical Stimulus operators.
The Test Director's seat in the previous image is empty because I was
on duty at the time as TD. Someone
else shot this picture of me at the console. Those were long
days, but I really miss the team spirit,
and the feeling of a common purpose.
Fast forward to July 2008, and the instrument is done! I
with it mounted into its shipping container. During July
who films documentaries of persons from Aruba, visited us for a
week. He shot many great scenes of the hardware being
including astronaut training, interviews with my fellow coworkers, and
the finished hardware in the cleanroom.
Here is Jan Poets in his 'bunny suit' outfit. He stands in
of the Mechanical Simulator that is a copy of the Hubble.
WFC3 will be mounted in the open cavity at the top of this simulator.
We ship to the Cape!
Our home and integration
site at the
Cape is the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility in the Industrial Area
of the Kennedy Space Center. On July 20 2008, we shipped the
first of our hardware. This was the Electrical and Mechanical
Ground Support Equipment (EGSE & MGSE).
Here is the arrival of the Mayflower truck at the PHSF.
It was a cool morning with the air full of mosquitoes and humidity.
A few of our team mates that morning saw a Bob Cat and her
two little cubs just outside this fence that morning.
KSC is a wonderful nature preserve with lots of wildlife.
This fixture, caled the Lower Level Positioner (LLP), is what WFC3 is
mounted to in the above pictures. It allows
us to pivot and rotate (two degrees of freedom) the instrument so that
we can reach any part of it. It weighs over 5000 lbs, but was
easily handled by the forklift.
Overall view of the PHSF Clean-Room. Note the
mission logos along the wall,
and it is impressive to think of all the missions that have used
this clean room in the
Arrival of the WFC3 in the PHSF Clean-Room.
In this photo, I am describing something about the plate that holds all
the power and data connections to Hubble.
The lift from the Shipping Container to the LLP. The big
above the crane hook is to
catch any dust or debris from the overhead crane.
Some of my team mates gathered around the instrument at final close-out.
Here I am doing the final sign off that the instrument is
It was actually a sad moment for me.
Step #350 in HST Work Order Authorization (WOA) #18709 reads:
"FINAL FINAL FINAL WALKTHROUGH. ARE WE READY TO FLY?"
It took hundreds of people to build WFC3, and we are priviledged to
The final time I will ever see WFC3 again. It pains me to see
so many years of working on her, but she will go on to produce many
scientific discoveries and will
change the way we see the universe.
2014 Update. After five years of successful operation, we
celebrate with a picnic
the accomplishments of the team and the instrument on 9/7/2014 at
Savage Park, MD. More pictures
here. It is wonderful to see the
many kids growing up and the little babies born since we launched.
on to the SM4