The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation technique. The spectra of 35 million galaxies and quasars spanning over 14,000 deg2 are measured during the life of the experiment. A prime focus corrector for the Kitt Peak National Observatory Mayall telescope delivers light to 5000 robotically positioned optic fibers. The fibers in turn feed 10 broadband spectrographs. Proper alignment of the focal plate structure, mainly consisting of a focal plate ring and 10 focal plate petals, is crucial in ensuring minimal loss of light in the focal plane. A coordinate measurement machine (CMM) metrology-based approach to alignment requires comprehensive characterization of critical dimensions of the petals and the ring, all of which are 100% inspected. The metrology data not only serve for quality assurance but also, with careful modeling of geometric transformations, inform the initial choice of integration accessories, such as gauge blocks, pads, and shims. The integrated focal plate structure is inspected again on a CMM, and each petal is adjusted individually according to the updated focal plate metrology data until all datums are extremely close to nominal positions and optical throughput nearly reached the theoretically best possible value. We present our metrology and alignment methodology and complete results for 12 official DESI petals. The as-aligned, total RMS optical throughput for 6168 positioner holes of 12 production petals is indirectly measured to be 99.88 % ± 0.12 % , well above the 99.5% project requirement. The successful alignment fully demonstrated the wealth of data, reproducibility, and micron-level precision made available by our CMM metrology-based approach.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to determine the expansion history of the Universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation technique. Over the life of the experiment DESI will measure the spectra of 35 million galaxies and quasars over 14,000 square degrees out to a redshift of 3.5. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5,000 robotic fiber positioners located at the prime focus. The fibers in turn will feed ten broad-band spectrographs covering the wavelength range from 360nm to 980 nm. Rapid and accurate targeting of the fibers is provided by precision theta-phi robotic fiber positioners. The fiber positioners are manufactured at the University of Michigan. Following assembly each positioner passes through a burn-in and verification sequence. We describe the testing of the positioners and discuss the performance achieved.
We describe the design of the Commissioning Instrument for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). DESI will obtain spectra over a 3 degree field of view using the 4-meter Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak, AZ. In order to achieve the required image quality over this field of view, a new optical corrector is being installed at the Mayall Telescope. The Commissioning Instrument is designed to characterize the image quality of the new optical system. The Commissioning Instrument has five commercial cameras; one at the center of the focal surface and four near the periphery of the field and at the cardinal directions. There are also 22 illuminated fiducials, distributed throughout the focal surface, that will be used to test the system that will map between the DESI fiber positioners and celestial coordinates. We describe how the commissioning instrument will perform commissioning tasks for the DESI project and thereby eliminate risks.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the Universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation technique. The spectra of 35 million galaxies and quasars over 14000 sq deg will be measured during the life of the experiment. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5000 fiber optic positioners. The fibers in turn feed ten broad- band spectrographs. We will present an overview of the mechanical structure that sits atop the Mayall Serrurier trusses and supports the six lenses, the Atmospheric Dispersion Compensator (ADC) rotator and the Focal Plane Assembly. This mechanical structure has already been built, we will describe the main technical requirements and challenges during the construction.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the Universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation technique. The spectra of 35 million galaxies and quasars over 14000 sq deg will be measured during the life of the experiment. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5000 fiber optic positioners. The fibers in turn feed ten broad-band spectrographs. We will describe the production and manufacturing processes developed for the 5000 fiber positioner robots mounted on the focal plane of the Mayall telescope.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation (BAO) technique. The spectra of 35 million galaxies and quasars over 14000 deg2 will be measured during the life of the experiment. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5000 robotically positioned optic fibres. The fibres in turn feed ten broadband spectrographs. Proper alignment of focal plate structure, mainly consisting of a focal plate ring (FPR) and ten focal plate petals (FPP), is crucial in ensuring minimal loss of light in the focal plane. A coordinate measurement machine (CMM) metrology-based approach to alignment requires comprehensive characterisation of critical dimensions of the petals and the ring, all of which were 100% inspected. The metrology data not only served for quality assurance (QA), but also, with careful modelling of geometric transformations, informed the initial choice of integration accessories such as gauge blocks, pads, and shims. The integrated focal plate structure was inspected again on a CMM, and each petal was adjusted according to the updated focal plate metrology data until all datums were extremely close to nominal positions and optical throughput nearly reached the theoretically best possible value. This paper presents our metrology and alignment methodology and complete results for twelve official DESI petals. The as-aligned, total RMS optical throughput for 6168 positioner holes of twelve production petals was indirectly measured to be 99:88±0.12%, well above the 99.5% project requirement. The successful alignment fully demonstrated the wealth of data, reproducibility, and micron-level precision made available by our CMM metrology-based approach.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is a project in construction to measure the expansion history of the Universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation technique. The spectra of 35 million galaxies and quasars over 14,000 square degrees will be measured during the life of the experiment. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5000 fiber optic positioners. The fibers in turn feed ten broad-band spectrographs covering a 360 - 980 nm passband with a spectral resolution (λ/Δλ) between 1500 and 4000. The spectrograph uses two dichroic beam splitters to separate the flux among three spectral cameras, each with a volume phase holographic grating and lens system that focuses onto a charge coupled device detector. We describe the spectrograph, its system requirements, design and construction.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the Universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation technique. The spectra of 35 million galaxies and quasars over 14000 deg² will be measured during the life of the experiment. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5000 fiber optic positioners. The fibers in turn feed ten broad-band spectrographs. A consortium of Aix-Marseille University (AMU) and CNRS laboratories (LAM, OHP and CPPM) together with LPNHE (CNRS, Universities Pierre et Marie Curie and Paris-Diderot) and the WINLIGHT Systems company based in Pertuis (France), are in charge of integrating and validating the performance requirements of the full spectrographs. This includes the cryostats, shutters and other mechanisms. The first spectrograph of the series of ten has been fully tested and the performance requirements verified for the following items: focus, image quality, straylight, stability, detector properties and throughput. We present the experimental setup, the test procedures and the results.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is a new instrument currently under construction for the Mayall 4-m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. It will consist of a wide-field optical corrector with a 3.2 degree diameter field of view, a focal plane with 5,000 robotically controlled fiber positioners and 10 fiber-fed broad-band spectrographs. The DESI Instrument Control System (ICS) coordinates fiber positioner operations, interfaces to the Mayall telescope control system, monitors operating conditions, reads out the 30 spectrograph CCDs and provides observer support and data quality monitoring. In this article, we summarize the ICS design, review the current status of the project and present results from a multi-stage test plan that was developed to ensure the system is fully operational by the time the instrument arrives at the observatory in 2019.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the Universe using the baryon acoustic oscillation technique. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5,000 fiber optic positioners feeding ten broad-band spectrographs. The positioners have eccentric axis kinematics. Actuation is provided by two 4mm diameter DC brushless gear-motors. An attached electronics board accepts a DC voltage for power and CAN messages for communications and drives the two motors. The positioner accepts the ferrulized and polished fiber and provides a mechanically safe path through its internal mechanism. Positioning is rapid and accurate with typical RMS errors of less than 5 μm.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the Universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation technique. The spectra of 40 million galaxies over 14,000 sq. deg. will be measured during the life of the experiment. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5000 fiber optic positioners. The fibers in turn feed ten broad-band spectrographs. We describe the ProtoDESI experiment, planned for installation and commissioning at the Mayall telescope in the fall of 2016, which will test the fiber positioning system for DESI. The ProtoDESI focal plate, consisting of 10 fiber positioners, illuminated fiducials, and a guide, focus and alignment (GFA) sensor module, will be installed behind the existing Mosaic prime focus corrector. A Fiber View Camera (FVC) will be mounted to the lower surface of the primary mirror cell and a subset of the Instrument Control System (ICS) will control the ProtoDESI subsystems, communicate with the Telescope Control System (TCS), and collect instrument monitoring data. Short optical fibers from the positioners will be routed to the back of the focal plane where they will be imaged by the Fiber Photometry Camera (FPC) or back-illuminated by a LED system. Target objects will be identified relative to guide stars, and using the GFA in a control loop with the ICS/TCS system, the guide stars will remain stable on pre-identified GFA pixels. The fiber positioners will then be commanded to the target locations and placed on the targets iteratively, using the FVC to centroid on back-illuminated fibers and fiducials to make corrective delta motions. When the positioners are aligned with the targets on-sky, the FPC will measure the intensities from the positioners’ fibers which can then be dithered to look for intensity changes, indicating how well the fibers were initially positioned on target centers. The final goal is to operate ProtoDESI on the Mayall telescope for a 6-hour period during one night, successfully placing targets on the intended fibers for the duration of a typical DESI science exposure.
The Dark Energy Survey Collaboration has completed construction of the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), a 3 square
degree, 570 Megapixel CCD camera which will be mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at CTIO. DECam will be
used to perform the 5000 sq. deg. Dark Energy Survey with 30% of the telescope time over a 5 year period. During the
remainder of the time, and after the survey, DECam will be available as a community instrument. All components of
DECam have been shipped to Chile and post-shipping checkout finished in Jan. 2012. Installation is in progress. A
summary of lessons learned and an update of the performance of DECam and the status of the DECam installation and
commissioning will be presented.
The Dark Energy Survey is a Stage III Dark Energy Experiment that will obtain cosmological parameters by combining
four observational techniques; Galaxy Clusters, Weak Lensing, Type Ia Supernovae and Baryon Acoustic Oscillations.
The observations will be performed with a new wide field camera (DECam) that will be placed on the Blanco 4 m
telescope at CTIO. Here we describe the large format (600 mm clear aperture) Filter Changer Mechanism (FCM) for the
Dark Energy Survey Camera (DECam). The FCM, based on the Pan-STARRS design, is the largest ever constructed.
Fabrication of the filter changer has been completed and it has been tested under realistic conditions.
The Dark Energy Camera is a new prime-focus instrument to be delivered to the Blanco 4-meter telescope at the Cerro
Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in 2011. Construction is in-progress at this time at Fermilab. In order to
verify that the camera meets technical specifications for the Dark Energy Survey and to reduce the time required to
commission the instrument while it is on the telescope, we are constructing a "Telescope Simulator" and performing full
system testing prior to shipping to CTIO. This presentation will describe the Telescope Simulator and how we use it to
verify some of the technical specifications.
Flux dependent non-linearity (reciprocity failure) in HgCdTe NIR detectors with 1.7 μm cut-off was investigated.
A dedicated test station was designed and built to measure reciprocity failure over the full dynamic range of near
infrared detectors. For flux levels between 1 and 100,000 photons/sec a limiting sensitivity to reciprocity failure
of 0.3 %/decade was achieved. First measurements on several engineering grade 1.7 μm cut-off HgCdTe detectors
show a wide range of reciprocity failure, from less than 0.5 %/decade to about 10%/decade. For at least two
of the tested detectors, significant spatial variation in the effect was observed. No indication for wavelength
dependency was found. The origin of reciprocity failure is currently not well understood. In this paper we
present details of our experimental set-up and show the results of measurements for several detectors.
Many future space telescope missions are designed as wide-field surveys. The increased area of the survey is often
achieved by increasing the plate scale of the detectors. This can result in under-sampled instruments. Under these
conditions response variations within an individual pixel degrade photometric and shape information of observed
astronomical sources. These effects can be corrected for by mapping the sub-pixel response of all pixels on a detector.
Measuring sub-pixel sensitivity by projecting a single, micron-size spot is effective in understanding intrapixel response
variations, but the time required to create a detector-wide map is prohibitive. The existing Spot-O-Matic single spot
projector concept, has been extended to the design of a multi-spot projector, the Spots-O-Matic, enabling the mapping of
an entire detector. This new projector is under development to achieve the small spot size required for pixel
characterization over the field of view of an entire detector.
The Dark Energy Survey Collaboration is building the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), a 3 square degree, 520
Megapixel CCD camera which will be mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at CTIO. DECam will be used to
perform the 5000 sq. deg. Dark Energy Survey with 30% of the telescope time over a 5 year period. During the
remainder of the time, and after the survey, DECam will be available as a community instrument. Construction of
DECam is well underway. Integration and testing of the major system components has already begun at Fermilab and
the collaborating institutions.
High detector quantum efficiency (QE) can greatly improve speed and performance of wide field instruments
that strive for fast precision photometry. SNAP, a proposed satellite mission dedicated to exploring the nature
of the dark energy will employ a very large focal plane instrumented with about equal number of CCD and
NIR sensors totaling more than 600 million pixels covering roughly 0.7 square degrees on the sky. To precisely
characterize the NIR detector QE, the SNAP project has put in place a test set-up capable of measuring absolute
QE at the 5% level with the goal of ultimately reaching a precision better than 2%. Illumination of the NIR
detectors is provided by either a quartz tungsten halogen lamp combined with a set of narrow band filters or
a manually tunable monochromator. The two light sources feed an integrating sphere at a distance of roughly
60 cm from the detector to be tested and a calibrated InGaAs photodiode, mounted adjacent to the NIR
detector provides absolute photon flux measurements. This paper describes instrumentation, performance and
measurement procedures and summarizes results of detailed characterization of the QE on several SNAP devices
as a function of wavelength.
Over the past decade scientists have collected convincing evidence that the content of our universe is dominated
by a mysterious dark energy. Understanding the nature of dark energy is a very difficult task, and requires a
variety of independent experimental approaches. Most of these approaches rely on photometric calibrations over
a wide range of intensities using standardized stars and internal reference sources, and hence on a complete
understanding of the linearity of the detectors. The SNAP near infrared (NIR) instrument team has performed
a comprehensive study of precision photometry on 1.7 micron cut-off HgCdTe detectors. Among those studies
are the count rate dependent detector non-linearity that was recently discovered with the NICMOS array on
the Hubble Space Telescope, and possible pixel size variations seen in quantum efficiency (QE) data. The nonlinearity
on NICMOS exhibits an unexpected behavior, where pixels with high (low) count rates detect slightly
more (less) flux than expected for a linear system. To test this count rate dependent non-linearity a dedicated
setup was built that produces a known amount of light on a detector, and measures its response as a function of
light intensity and wavelength. If the pixel response variations seen in QE data are due to pixel area variations,
standard flat-fielding will degrade photometry precision for point sources in an undersampled telescope. Studies
have been performed to estimate the magnitude of pixel area variations.
We describe the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which will be the primary instrument used in the Dark Energy Survey.
DECam will be a 3 sq. deg. mosaic camera mounted at the prime focus of the Blanco 4m telescope at the Cerro-Tololo
International Observatory (CTIO). DECam includes a large mosaic CCD focal plane, a five element optical corrector,
five filters (g,r,i,z,Y), and the associated infrastructure for operation in the prime focus cage. The focal plane consists of
62 2K x 4K CCD modules (0.27"/pixel) arranged in a hexagon inscribed within the roughly 2.2 degree diameter field of
view. The CCDs will be 250 micron thick fully-depleted CCDs that have been developed at the Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory (LBNL). Production of the CCDs and fabrication of the optics, mechanical structure, mechanisms,
and control system for DECam are underway; delivery of the instrument to CTIO is scheduled for 2010.
We compare a more complete characterization of the low temperature performance of a nominal 1.7um cut-off
wavelength 1kx1k InGaAs (lattice-matched to an InP substrate) photodiode array against similar, 2kx2k HgCdTe
imagers to assess the suitability of InGaAs FPA technology for scientific imaging applications. The data we present
indicate that the low temperature performance of existing InGaAs detector technology is well behaved and comparable
to those obtained for state-of-the-art HgCdTe imagers for many space astronomical applications. We also discuss key
differences observed between imagers in the two material systems.
Precision near infrared (NIR) measurements are essential for the next generation of ground and space based instruments. The SuperNova Acceleration Probe (SNAP) will measure thousands of type Ia supernovae up to a redshift of 1.7. The highest redshift supernovae provide the most leverage for determining cosmological parameters, in particular the dark energy equation of state and its possible time evolution. Accurate NIR observations are needed to utilize the full potential of the highest redshift supernovae. Technological improvements in NIR detector fabrication have lead to high quantum efficiency, low noise detectors using a HgCdTe diode with a band-gap that is tuned to cutoff at 1.7 μm. The effects of detector quantum efficiency, read noise, and dark current on lightcurve signal to noise, lightcurve parameter errors, and distance modulus fits are simulated in the SNAPsim framework. Results show that improving quantum efficiency leads to the largest gains in photometric accuracy for type Ia supernovae. High quantum efficiency in the NIR reduces statistical errors and helps control systematic uncertainties at the levels necessary to achieve the primary SNAP science goals.
We present the results of a detailed study of the noise performance of candidate NIR detectors for the proposed Super-Nova Acceleration Probe. Effects of Fowler sampling depth and frequency, temperature, exposure time, detector material, detector reverse-bias and multiplexer type are quantified. We discuss several tools for determining which sources of low frequency noise are primarily responsible for the sub-optimal noise improvement when multiple sampling, and the selection of optimum fowler sampling depth. The effectiveness of reference pixel subtraction to mitigate zero point drifts is demonstrated, and the circumstances under which reference pixel subtraction should or should not be applied are examined. Spatial and temporal noise measurements are compared, and a simple method for quantifying the effect of hot pixels and RTS noise on spatial noise is described.
We present the results of a study of the performance of InGaAs detectors conducted for the SuperNova Acceleration
Probe (SNAP) dark energy mission concept. Low temperature data from a nominal 1.7um cut-off wavelength 1kx1k
InGaAs photodiode array, hybridized to a Rockwell H1RG multiplexer suggest that InGaAs detector performance is
comparable to those of existing 1.7um cut-off HgCdTe arrays. Advances in 1.7um HgCdTe dark current and noise
initiated by the SNAP detector research and development program makes it the baseline detector technology for SNAP.
However, the results presented herein suggest that existing InGaAs technology is a suitable alternative for other future
Large format (1k × 1k and 2k × 2k) near infrared detectors manufactured by Rockwell Scientific Center and Raytheon Vision Systems are characterized as part of the near infrared R&D effort for SNAP (the Super-Nova/Acceleration Probe). These are hybridized HgCdTe focal plane arrays with a sharp high wavelength cut-off at 1.7 μm. This cut-off provides a sufficiently deep reach in redshift while it allows at the same time low dark current operation of the passively cooled detectors at 140 K. Here the baseline SNAP near infrared system is briefly described and the science driven requirements for the near infrared detectors are summarized. A few results obtained during the testing of engineering grade near infrared devices procured for the SNAP project are highlighted. In particular some recent measurements that target correlated noise between adjacent detector pixels due to capacitive coupling and the response uniformity within individual detector pixels are discussed.
Mission requirements, the baseline design, and optical systems budgets for the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) telescope are presented. SNAP is a proposed space-based experiment designed to study dark energy and alternate explanations of the acceleration of the universe’s expansion by performing a series of complementary systematics-controlled astrophysical measurements. The goals of the mission are a Type Ia supernova Hubble diagram and a wide-field weak gravitational lensing survey. A 2m widefield three-mirror telescope feeds a focal plane consisting of 36 CCDs and 36 HgCdTe detectors and a high-efficiency, low resolution integral field spectrograph. Details of the maturing optical system, with emphasis on structural stability during terrestrial testing as well as expected environments during operations at L2 are discussed. The overall stray light mitigation system, including illuminated surfaces and visible objects are also presented.
A well-adapted spectrograph concept has been developed for the SNAP (SuperNova/Acceleration Probe) experiment. The goal is to ensure proper identification of Type Iz supernovae and to standardize the magnitude of each candidate by determining explosion parameters. The spectrograph is also a key element for the calibration of the science mission. An instrument based on an integral field method with the powerful concept of imager slicing has been designed and is presented in this paper. The spectrograph concept is optimized to have high efficiency and low spectral resolution (R~100), constant through the wavelength range (0.35-1.7μm), adapted to the scientific goals of the mission.
We present the baseline telescope design for the telescope for the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) space mission. SNAP’s purpose is to determine expansion history of the Universe by measuring the redshifts, magnitudes, and spectral classifications of thousands of supernovae with unprecedented accuracy. Discovering and measuring these supernovae demand both a wide optical field and a high sensitivity throughout the visible and near IR wavebands. We have adopted the annular-field three-mirror anastigmat (TMA) telescope configuration, whose classical aberrations (including chromatic) are zero. We show a preliminary optmechanical design that includes important features for stray light control and on-orbit adjustment and alignment of the optics. We briefly discuss stray light and tolerance issues, and present a preliminary wavefront error budget for the SNAP Telescope. We conclude by describing some of the design tasks being carried out during the current SNAP research and development phase.
The proposed SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will have a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction-limited images to an instrumented 0.7 square degree field in the visible and near-infrared wavelength regime. The requirements for the instrument suite and the present configuration of the focal plane concept are presented. A two year R&D phase, largely supported by the Department of Energy, is just beginning. We describe the development activities that are taking place to advance our preparedness for mission proposal in the areas of detectors and electronics.
A well-adapted spectrograph concept has been developed for the SNAP (SuperNova/Acceleration Probe) experiment. The goal is to ensure proper identification of Type Ia supernovae and to standardize the magnitude of each candidate by determining explosion parameters. An instrument based on an integral field method with the powerful concept of imager slicing has been designed and is presented in this paper. The spectrograph concept is optimized to have very high efficiency and low spectral resolution (R~100), constant through the wavelength range (0.35-1.7μm), adapted to the scientific goals of the mission.
The SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) will measure precisely the cosmological expansion history over both the acceleration and deceleration epochs and thereby constrain the nature of the dark energy that dominates our universe today. The SNAP focal plane contains equal areas of optical CCDs and NIR sensors and an integral field spectrograph. Having over 150 million pixels and a field-of-view of 0.34 square degrees, the SNAP NIR system will be the largest yet constructed. With sensitivity in the range 0.9-1.7 μm, it will detect Type Ia supernovae between z = 1 and 1.7 and will provide follow-up precision photometry for all supernovae. HgCdTe technology, with a cut-off tuned to 1.7 μm, will permit passive cooling at 140 K while maintaining noise below zodiacal levels. By dithering to remove the effects of intrapixel variations and by careful attention to other instrumental effects, we expect to control relative photometric accuracy below a few hundredths of a magnitude. Because SNAP continuously revisits the same fields we will be able to achieve outstanding statistical precision on the photometry of reference stars in these fields, allowing precise monitoring of our detectors. The capabilities of the NIR system for broadening the science reach of SNAP are discussed.
The proposed SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will have a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction-limited images to an instrumented 0.7 square-degree field sensitive in the visible and near-infrared wavelength regime. We describe the requirements for the instrument suite and the evolution of the focal plane design to the present concept in which all the instrumentation -- visible and near-infrared imagers, spectrograph, and star guiders -- share one common focal plane.
The Supernova / Acceleration Probe (SNAP) is a proposed space-borne observatory that will survey the sky with a wide-field optical/near-infrared (NIR) imager. The images produced by SNAP will have an unprecedented combination of depth, solid-angle, angular resolution, and temporal sampling. For 16 months each, two 7.5 square-degree fields will be observed every four days to a magnitude depth of AB=27.7 in each of the SNAP filters, spanning 3500-17000Å. Co-adding images over all epochs will give AB=30.3 per filter. In addition, a 300 square-degree field will be surveyed to AB=28 per filter, with no repeated temporal sampling. Although the survey strategy is tailored for supernova and weak gravitational lensing observations, the resulting data will support a broad range of auxiliary science programs.
The SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will require a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction limited images spanning a one degree field in the visible and near infrared wavelength regime. This requirement, equivalent to nearly one billion pixel resolution, places stringent demands on its optical system in terms of field flatness, image quality, and freedom from chromatic aberration. We discuss the advantages of annular-field three-mirror anastigmat (TMA) telescopes for applications such as SNAP, and describe the features of the specific optical configuration that we have baselined for the SNAP mission. We discuss the mechanical design and choice of materials for the telescope. Then we present detailed ray traces and diffraction calculations for our baseline optical design. We briefly discuss stray light and tolerance issues, and present a preliminary wavefront error budget for the SNAP Telescope. We conclude by describing some of tasks to be carried out during the upcoming SNAP research and development phase.
The SuperNova / Acceleration Probe (SNAP) is a space-based experiment to measure the expansion history of the Universe and study both its dark energy and the dark matter. The experiment is motivated by the startling discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. A 0.7~square-degree imager comprised of 36 large format fully-depleted n-type CCD's sharing a focal plane with 36 HgCdTe detectors forms the heart of SNAP, allowing discovery and lightcurve measurements simultaneously for many supernovae. The imager and a high-efficiency low-resolution integral field spectrograph are coupled to a 2-m three mirror anastigmat wide-field telescope, which will be placed in a high-earth orbit. The SNAP mission can obtain high-signal-to-noise calibrated light-curves and spectra for over 2000 Type Ia supernovae at redshifts between z = 0.1 and 1.7. The resulting data set can not only determine the amount of dark energy with high precision, but test the nature of the dark energy by examining its equation of state. In particular, dark energy due to a cosmological constant can be differentiated from alternatives such as "quintessence", by measuring the dark energy's equation of state to an accuracy of ± 0.05, and by studying its time dependence.
The high-energy antimatter telescope (HEAT) instrument has been flown successfully by high-altitude balloon in 1994 and 1995, in a configuration optimized for the detection and identification of cosmic-ray electrons and positrons at energies from about 1 GeV up to 50 GeV and beyond. It consists of a two-coil superconducting magnet and a precision drift-tube tracking hodoscope, complemented with a time-of-flight system, a transition radiation detector and an electromagnetic shower counter. We review the design criteria for optimal e+/- detection and identification, and assess the instruments' performance and background rejection during its first two flights. We also review the adaptation of HEAT for measurements of high-energy cosmic- ray antiprotons and for isotopic composition studies.