NEOCam is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which also leads the development of the NEOCam payload. NEOCam's partners include Ball Aerospace of Boulder, Colorado; the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) of the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, California; L-3 SSG in Wilmington, Massachusetts; the Space Dynamics Laboratory, in Logan, Utah; Teledyne Imaging Sensors of Thousand Oaks, California; and the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York.
Ball Aerospace will provide the spacecraft bus (the portion of the observatory that generates power and provides communications and housekeeping functions) for NEOCam. Ball will also lead the system assembly, test, and launch operations. Ball built a similar spacecraft bus for the WISE, Deep Impact, and Kepler missions.
IPAC was formed in 1985 to support IRAS data processing, analysis and research, and later evolved into NASA's multi-mission center of science, data and operations expertise for long-wavelength astrophysics. Located at the California Institute of Technology, IPAC carries out challenging data processing tasks essential to the science return from large astronomy programs such as all-sky surveys or Great Observatories. IPAC interfaces between such projects and the astronomical community, and manages science programs for NASA.
IPAC develops and maintains science data archives as well as access and analysis tools. IPAC conducts education and outreach efforts aimed at both the extended astronomy community and the general public. It is also the institutional home of the Spitzer Science Center (SSC) and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI), each of which maintains an autonomous management structure, while sharing IPAC resources. IPAC is the home of the WISE Science Data Center and is responsible for operating the NEOWISE data processing pipeline, which successfully observed more than 158,000 asteroids in our solar system, including discovery of about 34,000 new asteroids.
IPAC will serve as the home for NEOCam's science data processing system.
L-3 SSG provides space sensor systems, space telescopes, airborne sensor systems, hyperspectral systems and LOS pointing and fast steering mirrors. They built the telescope and optical system for the WISE mission, and they will provide the NEOCam telescope.
Space Dynamics Laboratory
The Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) has a five-decade legacy of providing innovative solutions to critical challenges faced in the defense, national security, academic, civil, and commercial arenas. SDL specializes in a wide range of technology development including electro-optical remote sensing systems, groundbreaking small satellite technologies, and sensor calibration and testing. SDL produced the payload - including the telescope, camera, and cryostat - for the WISE mission.
SDL will provide payload testing, calibration and characterization, as well as payload systems engineering support for NEOCam.
Teledyne Imaging Sensors
Teledyne Imaging Sensors (TIS) is primarily engaged in the design, development and production of high performance infrared and visible sensor subsystems used in space missions, long range terrestrial surveillance and targeting and astronomy applications.
TIS's mercury-cadmium-telluride (HgCdTe) infrared detectors are in use in the WISE/NEOWISE mission, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2, and the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide-field Camera 3. Teledyne's HgCdTe Astronomical Wide Area Infrared Imager (HAWAII) arrays are in use for astronomical applications in observatories all over the world, including the twin Keck Telescopes in Hawaii, the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona, and the Very Large Telescopes in Chile. TIS's arrays are also planned for use in the James Webb Space Telescope, Euclid, and WFIRST-AFTA. TIS has produced 10 micron HgCdTe arrays that meet NEOCam's requirements (McMurtry et al. 2013) as part of the NASA-funded technology development resulting from the 2010 Discovery program call.
University of Rochester
The University of Rochester's infrared astronomy group includes Dr. Judy Pipher, Dr. William Forrest, and Dr. Craig McMurtry, who have tested and delivered detectors for the Spitzer Space Telescope's Infrared Array Camera and the FIRE spectrograph. Together with Teledyne, UR has pioneered the development and testing of 10 micron HgCdTe detectors for NEOCam since 2004.