The James Webb Space Telescope; Its Mission, Design and Development

Jonathan Arenberg
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
Thursday, April 13, 2023
3:30 pm
RH 101 + Zoom Seminar


This talk introduces the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s Flagship astrophysics mission and the
largest telescope every design, constructed and operating in space. Webb’s science goals are presented
and the flow of these science objectives into mission requirements and design is examined. The
elements of the Webb are introduced, and their performance explained. The main engineering
challenges in implementing this revolutionary observatory are explored. The presentation will conclude
with a brief review of some of the exciting images returned during Webb’s inaugural year of operation
and a look at what is next.

Speaker Biography:
Jonathan Arenberg has been with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems since 1989 having started his
career with Hughes Aircraft Company. His work experience includes optical, space and laser systems. Dr.
Arenberg has worked on such astronomical programs as the Chandra X-ray Observatory, James Webb
Space Telescope and helped conceive and develop the Starshade concept for the direct imaging of extra-
solar planets. He has worked on major high-energy and tactical laser systems, laser component
engineering, metrology and optical inspection issues. He is a member of US National and International
(ISO) sub-committees charged with writing standards for laser and electro-optic systems and
components, SPIE, American Astronomical Society, American Association for the Advancement of
Science, AIAA and Sigma Xi. Dr. Arenberg holds a BS in physics and an MS and PhD in engineering, all
from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of over 240 conference presentations,
papers, book chapters and a recent book on systems engineering. He holds 15 European and U.S.
Patents in a wide variety of areas of technology and is currently the Chief Mission Architect for Science
and Robotic Exploration at Northrop Grumman and an SPIE Fellow.


Kevork Abazaijan/Asantha Cooray