The mid-infrared instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope, IX: Predicted sensitivity

Alistair Glasse, George H. Rieke, E. Bauwens, Macarena García-Marín, M. E. Ressler, Steffen Rost, T. V. Tikkanen, B. Vandenbussche, G. S. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


We present an estimate of the performance that will be achieved during on-orbit operations of the JWST mid-infrared instrument, MIRI. The efficiency of the main imager and spectrometer systems in detecting photons from an astronomical target are presented, based on measurements at subsystem and instrument-level testing, with the end-to-end transmission budget discussed in some detail. The brightest target fluxes that can be measured without saturating the detectors are provided. The sensitivity for long-duration observations of faint sources is presented in terms of the target flux required to achieve a signal-to-noise ratio of 10 after a 10,000 s observation. The algorithms used in the sensitivity model are presented, including the understanding gained during testing of the MIRI flight model and flight-like detectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-695
Number of pages10
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number953
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Glasse, A., Rieke, G. H., Bauwens, E., García-Marín, M., Ressler, M. E., Rost, S., Tikkanen, T. V., Vandenbussche, B., & Wright, G. S. (2015). The mid-infrared instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope, IX: Predicted sensitivity. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 127(953), 686-695.