Northrop Grumman has integrated the last defense layers of a sun shield system built to protect optics and instruments of the James Webb Space Telescope from heat.
The company said Monday its aerospace systems business designed the sun shield layers that will work to help reduce the temperatures between cold and hot JWST components.
Huntsville, Alabama-based NeXolve manufactured the five sun shield membrane layers out of Kapton polyimide film.
Jim Flynn, Webb sun shield manager at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, said the tennis-court sized system will defend the telescope’s optics from heat to support the collection of images on the formation of stars and galaxies.
“All five sun shield membranes have been installed and will be folded over the next few weeks,” said Paul Geithner, technical deputy project manager for the Webb telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
NASA collaborates with the European and Canadian space agencies on the JWST project.
Northrop also designed the observatory’s optics, spacecraft bus and sun shield for the Goddard facility.