The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) will have sensitivity and resolution comparable to the Hubble Space Telescope, but with a field of view 100 times larger, combining excellent image quality with survey power. The WFIRST observatory will utilize an existing 2.4-meter AFTA (Astrophysics-Focused Telescope Assets) telescope, donated to NASA by another agency, which will be located at the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L2).


Artistic rendering of WFIRST and Mirror Assembly


WFIRST has two instruments to execute the mission science program:

  1. A Wide Field Instrument (WFI) operating in the 0.5–2.0 micron range. The WFI will have 7 imaging filters, a grism (for redshift measurements in support of baryon acoustic oscillation science), and an Integral Field Channel (IFC) for spectroscopic characterization of supernovae.
  2. A Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) operating in the 0.4–1.0 micron range. This Technology Demonstration instrument will have both an imaging detector (for exoplanet detection) and an Integral Field Unit (for exoplanet spectroscopy). The CGI was added to the mission as a “New Worlds Technology Development Program,” which was the top medium-scale priority in space described in the NWNH Decadal Survey Report.

WFIRST Imaging Capabilities

Telescope Aperture

2.4 meter

Field of View

45'x23'; 0.28 sq deg

Pixel Scale

0.11 arcsec

Wavelength Range

0.5-2.0 µm
Filters R062 Z087 Y106 J129 H158  F184 W146
Wavelength (µm)  0.48-0.76 0.76-0.98 0.93-1.19 1.13-1.45 1.38-1.77 1.68-2.00 0.93-2.00
Sensitivity (5σ AB mag in 1 hr)  28.50 28.02 27.95 27.87 27.81 27.32 28.33


WFIRST Spectroscopic Capabilities

  Field of View (sq deg)  Wavelength (µm)  Resolution  Sensitivity 
(1Oσ AB mag in 1000s) 
Grism 0.28 sq deg 1.00-1.89 435-865 20.4 at 1 .5 µm
Integral Field Channel  3.00 x 3.15 arcsec 0.42-2 80-120 24.2 at 1 .5 µm


WFIRST Coronagraphic Capabilities

  Wavelength (µm)

Inner Working Angle (arcsec) 

Outer Working Angle (arcsec) 
Detection Spectral Resolution 
Imaging & Spectroscopy 0.4-1 0.15 (exoplanets)
0.9 (disks) 
0.9 (exoplanets)
3.0 (disks) 
10 -9 contrast (after post-post processing)  ~50


Download Instrument Capabilities Chart>

Citation: WFIRST Reference Information (Cycle7)

Contact the WFIRST Team