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6 July 2018 Design and results for the SAAO wide-field nasmyth camera
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Abstract
The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is currently developing WiNCam, the Wide-field Nasmyth Camera, to be mounted on Lesedi, the observatory’s new 1-metre telescope. This paper discusses the design and results for the remotely-operated camera system. The camera consists of an E2V-231-C6 Back Illuminated Scientific Charge Coupled Device (CCD) sensor with 6144x6160 pixels, four outputs operating in non-inverted mode. This is to date the largest single chip CCD-system developed at SAAO. The CCD is controlled with a modified Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) Digital Sampler Array Controller (IDSAC) utilizing digital correlated double sampling. The camera system will have full-frame and frame-transfer read out modes available with sub-windowing and pre-binning abilities. Vacuum through-wall PCB technology is used to route signals through the vacuum interface between the controller and the CCD. A thin, compact, 125x125mm aperture, sliding-curtain-mechanism shutter was designed and manufactured together with a saddle-type filter-magazine-gripper system. The CCD is cryogenically cooled using a Stirling Cooler with active vibration cancellation; CCD temperature control is done with a Lake Shore Temperature Controller. A Varian Ion Pump and Activated Charcoal are used to maintain good vacuum and to prolong intervals between vacuum pump down. The various hardware components of the system are connected using distributed software architecture, and a web-based GUI allows remote and scripted operation of the instrument.
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Pieter Swanevelder, Dave Carter, James O'Connor, Hannah Worters, Willie Koorts, Briehan Lombaard, Egan Loubser, Keegan Titus, Carel van Gend, Michael Rust, Craig Sass, Hitesh Gajjar, Amanda Sickafoose, A. N. Ramaprakash, Pravin Chordia, Mahesh Burse, Sujit Punnadi, Bhushan Joshi, and Sakya Sinha "Design and results for the SAAO wide-field nasmyth camera", Proc. SPIE 10702, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII, 107022K (6 July 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2312540
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