The suggested instrument complement for the Next Generation Space Telescope includes a 0.6-5 micron Near Infrared Camera, a R ~ 1000 1-5 micron multi-object Near Infrared Spectrograph and a 5-28 micron Mid-Infrared Instrument with imaging and spectrocopic capabilities. These instruments will be will be equipped with extremely low background HgCdTe or InSb and Si:As arrays totalling ~60 Megapixels. Calibration and characterization of this instrumentation is going to be a major challenge since NGST must achieve sensitivities of order 1 nJy and 100 nJy for NIR imaging and spectroscopy, respectively, and 400 and 2500 nJy for Mid-IR (20 micron) imaging and spectroscopy in a typical 105 s observation. In this presentation, I will briefly describe the NGST mission and its instrumentation. I will then outline how we hope to operate the instruments, and the difficulties and advantages we anticipate for an IR observatory at L2. With this background, I will concentrate on the important lessons we are learning from ISO and other missions in developing a calibration and characterization strategy for NGST.
The Calibration Legacy of the ISO Mission
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