IFU Roadmap

A roadmap to guide users, step-by-step, through the process of designing an observing program using either (or both) of the integral field units (IFUS) on JWST: MIRI Medium Resolution Spectrograph and the NIRSpec IFU.

For example programs that use this roadmap, please see the Cas A Example Science Program and the MRS Spectroscopy of a Late M Star Example Program.

Each step listed below is followed by a list of articles with additional details.


  1. Pick one or both of the JWST IFU observing modes based on needed wavelength coverage.
    MIRI Medium Resolution Spectroscopy (MRS) (4.9–28.8 μm)
    NIRSpec IFU Spectroscopy (0.6–5.3 μm)

  2. Pick wavelength setting(s).
    MIRI MRS: Select SHORT, MEDIUM, or LONG channel, or some combination thereof
    NIRSpec IFU: Select dispersers and filters, depending on needed wavelength coverage and resolving power

  3. For MIRI MRS, determine whether you should choose simultaneous imaging with the MIRI Imager.
    MIRI MRS Simultaneous Imaging

  4. Decide if you need to do a mosaic.
    JWST Mosaic Overview
    MIRI MRS Mosaics

  5. Pick a dither pattern.
    MIRI MRS DitheringMIRI MRS Recommended Strategies
    NIRSpec IFU Dither and Nod PatternsNIRSpec Bright Spoilers and the IFU Recommended Strategies

  6. Determine whether you need a dedicated background observation.
    MIRI MRS Dedicated Sky Observations
    NIRSpec Background Recommended Strategies

  7. For NIRSpec IFU: Decide whether you need to obtain leakcal observations to mitigate the effects of light that leaks through the NIRSpec Micro-Shutter Assembly (MSA) shutters
    NIRSpec MSA Leakage Correction for IFU ObservationsNIRSpec MSA Leakage Subtraction Recommended Strategies

  8. Decide if you should do a target acquisition (TA)
    MIRI MRS Target Acquisition
    NIRSpec Target AcquisitionNIRSpec Target Acquisition Recommended Strategies

  9. Calculate the required exposure time and detector readout parameters using the Exposure Time Calculator (ETC).
    JWST ETC IFU Nod in Scene and IFU Nod off Scene Strategy
    JWST ETC MIRI Target Acquisition
    JWST ETC NIRSpec Target Acquisition

  10. Fill out the Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT) for your observation
    MIRI MRS APT Template
    NIRSpec IFU Spectroscopy APT Template


Go to the General Proposal Planning Workflow to complete the steps for proposal submission.




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