The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a passively cooled, 6.5m aperture class telescope, optimized for diffraction-limited performance in the near-infrared wavelength region (1 - 5 μm). JWST will be capable of high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy and will carry a scientific payload consisting of three scientific instruments. One of the instruments - NIRSpec - is a near-infrared, multi-object, dispersive spectrograph, which will be provided by ESA.
EADS Astrium and its subcontractors have been involved in all ESA instrument studies for JWST. The actual NIRSpec design has evolved during three years of studying of different spectrometer design and performance options. Basic feature of the current design is the all ceramic material concept for the instrument structure and mirror optics; both were successfully tested on component level. This paper presents our NIRSpec design concept and its predicted performance.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.