The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) will have sensitivity and resolution comparable to the Hubble Space Telescope, but with a field of view 100 times larger, combining excellent image quality with survey power. The WFIRST observatory will utilize an existing 2.4-meter AFTA (Astrophysics-Focused Telescope Assets) telescope, donated to NASA by another agency, which will be located at the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L2).


Artistic rendering of WFIRST and Mirror Assembly


WFIRST has two instruments to execute the mission science program:

  1. A Wide Field Instrument (WFI) operating in the 0.5–2.0 micron range. The WFI will have 7 imaging filters, a grism (for redshift measurements in support of baryon acoustic oscillation science), and an Integral Field Channel (IFC) for spectroscopic characterization of supernovae.
  2. A Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) operating in the 0.4–1.0 micron range. This Technology Demonstration instrument will have both an imaging detector (for exoplanet detection) and an Integral Field Unit (for exoplanet spectroscopy). The CGI was added to the mission as a “New Worlds Technology Development Program,” which was the top medium-scale priority in space described in the NWNH Decadal Survey Report.


Instrument Capabilities

Chart showing technical specs of WFIRST instruments

Download Instrument Capabilities Chart>

Citation: WFIRST Reference Information (Cycle7)