Gigapixel camera for dark energy studies passes acceptance test

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A 1.2 gigapixel camera subsystem built for a ground-based telescope to study dark energy has successfully completed a factory acceptance test.

The e2v designed CryoCam will be integrated into a 2.5m-wide field ground-based telescope in Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (OAJ), Aragon, Spain. It will carry out a five-year survey of the northern sky to build a high fidelity 3D map of the Universe and study dark energy.

The camera is being developed as part of the Javalambre Physics of the Accelerating Universe Astrophysical Survey (J-PAS) project. The completed factory acceptance test was witnessed by representatives of the Brazilian-Spanish consortium, Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón and Observatório Nacional, and enables the camera’s delivery to the J-PAS consortium.

The camera has been designed, assembled, integrated and tested by e2v. CryoCam has an exceptionally flat focal plane with thermal and mechanical stability – 27μm peak-to-valley measured at -110°C and room temperature. It is based on fourteen 9k x 9k pixel format CCD scientific image sensors, backthinned, with a read-out time less than 20 seconds, and noise less than 5 e- at 400kHz.

Professor Renato Dupke, principal investigator of the Brazilian counterpart of J-PAS at the Observatório Nacional, said: ‘We are very happy with the development of e2v’s 1.2 gigapixel cryogenic CCD camera for the J-PAS project. The subsystem is already achieving in-factory performances significantly beyond our original expectations. Tests are already suggesting an equivalent performance when the subsystem is fully integrated at the telescope. This will have a giant impact on a wide variety of fields in astronomy, in particular on the nature of dark energy.’

Further information:

Javalambre Physics of the Accelerating Universe Astrophysical Survey (J-PAS) project


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