James Webb Space Telescope MircoShutters Instrument (Instrument and Instrument Systems Engineering)


The MicroShutters Assembly (MSA) is a new piece of technology being used in the Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope. The MSA will allow scientists to capture the spectra of more than 100 objects at once. This feat is accomplished by independently operating almost 250,000, 100 x 200 micron-sized shutters.

The MSA operates at cryogenic temperatures (~35K) and has challenging contamination and alignment requirements. Our engineers have participated in virtually all of the mechanical design, analysis, assembly integration and testing of the MSA Structure and Mechanisms.

Through our support of the JWST MSA program we demonstrated the expertise necessary to design, analyze, integrate and test a structure capable of housing delicate and alignment sensitive optical components. During the MSA project, our personnel also provided support in the procurement of different parts and components, including but not limited to motors and other mechanism parts, machined parts, optical coatings and related hardware. We have actively participated in project milestone reviews starting from PDR.