The NEWFIRM program will provide a widefield IR imaging system optimized for survey programs on the NOAO 4-m telescopes in Arizona and Chile. The camera images a 28 x 28 arcminute field of view over 1-2.4 microns wavelength range with a 4K x 4K pixel array mosaic. We present an overview of camera design features including optics design, manufacture, and mounting; control of internal flexure between input and output focal planes; mosaic array mount design; and thermal design. We also discuss the status of other projects within the program: array control electronics, observation and pipeline reduction software, and production of the science grade array complement. The program is progressing satisfactorily and we expect to deliver the system to the northern 4-m telescope in 2005.
The Orion program developed a 2048x2048 infrared focal plane using InSb PV diodes for detectors. Several of these focal planes have been produced. However, the yield of the original readout multiplexer was not up to expectations owing to unanticipated shorts in the fabrication process. Since these shorts occurred at the metal 1-metal 2 crossover points and there are over 9 million such crossovers, the design had to be modified to work around these problems. Thus the Orion II readout was developed. The work is being done at the Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) division (most recently Raytheon Infrared Operations, but better known as SBRC) by many of the same people who created the Orion I and ALADDIN focal planes. The design is very similar to the Orion I design with the addition of circuitry to work around the effect of the metal 1-metal 2 shorts. In this paper we will discuss the unique design features of this device as well as present test data taken from the new devices.
Orion is a program to develop a 2048x2048 infrared focal plane using InSb PV detectors. It is the natural follow-on to the successful Aladdin 1024x1024 program, which was the largest IR focal plane of the 90's. Although the pixels are somewhat smaller than Aladdin, the overall focal plane is over 50mm in size and for the present is the largest IR focal plane of the 21st century. The work is being done by Raytheon Infrared Operations (RIO but better known as SBRC) by many of the same people who created the Aladdin focal plane. The design is very similar to the successful Aladdin design with the addition of reference pixels to lower noise and drift effects in long integrations. So far we have made five focal plane modules with hybridized InSb detectors. In this paper we will discuss the unique design features of this device as well as present test data taken from these devices.
The MONSOON Image Acquisition System has been designed to meet the need for scalable, multichannel, high-speed image acquisition required for the next-generation optical and infared detectors and mosaic projects currently under development at NOAO as described in other papers at this proceeding such as ORION, NEWFIRM, QUOTA, ODI and LSST. These new systems with their large scale (64 to 2000 channels) and high performance (up to 1Gbyte/s) raise new challenges in terms of communication bandwidth, data storage and data processing requirements which are not adequately met by existing astronomical controllers. In order to meet this demand, new techniques for not only a new detector controller, but rather a new image acquisition architecture, have been defined. These extremely large scale imaging systems also raise less obvious concerns in previously neglected areas of controller design such as physical size and form factor issues, power dissipation and cooling near the telescope, system assembly/test/ integration time, reliability, and total cost of ownership. At NOAO we have taken efforts to look outside of the astronomical community for solutions found in other disciplines to similar classes of problems. A large number of the challenges raised by these system needs are already successfully being faced in other areas such as telecommunications, instrumentation and aerospace. Efforts have also been made to use true commercial off the shelf (COTS) system elements, and find truly technology independent solutions for a number of system design issues whenever possible. The Monsoon effort is a full-disclosure development effort by NOAO in collaboration with the CARA ASTEROID project for the benefit of the astronomical community.
The MDM/Ohio State/ALADDIN IR Camera (MOSAIC) is a general purpose near IR imaging camera and medium-resolution long- slit spectrometer in use on the MDM 1.3-m and 2.4-m telescopes and the Kitt Peak 2.1-m and 4-m telescopes. In cooperation with NOAO and USNO, MOSAIC is one of the first general-purpose near-IR instruments available to the astronomical community that uses a first-generation 1024 X 512 ALADDIN InSb array, with the capability to use a full 1024 X 1024 array once one becomes available. MOSAIC provides tow imaging plate scales, and a variety of long- slit grism spectroscopic modes. This paper describes the general instrument design and capabilities, and presents representative scientific results.
The Cryogenic Optical Bench (COB) is a 1-4 (mu) IR array camera with multiple cold spectral and spatial filtering capabilities which can be combined in a variety of configurations. The array is driven by a transputer based high speed data system using fiber optic links and dedicated processors. We describe the instrument functions and the mechanical, optical, electronic, and cryogenic implementation. COB is a facility instrument at Kitt Peak National Observatory, available for use by scientists worldwide on the basis of scientific merit.
Recent progress in infrared astronomy has been very rapid because of the introduction of two dimensional detector arrays. Practical experience in using these arrays has changed the techniques and outcomes of infrared astronomical research profoundly. In this paper those changes are illustrated by an assortment of images and spectra.
The Simultaneous Quad-Color Infrared Imaging Device (SQIID) is the first of a new generation of infrared instruments to be put into service at the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO). The camera has been configured to be modular in design and to accept new innovations in detector format as they become available. Currently the camera is equipped with four 256 x 256 platinum silicide arrays with 30 micron pixels for each of the four bands J (1.1-1.4 microns), H (1.5-1.8 microns), K (2.0-2.4 microns), and L' (3.52-4.12 microns). The optics of the instrument have been designed to accept detector arrays as large as 512 x 512, or an equivalent field size of 12.4 mm x 12.4 mm. The instrument is cooled with a pair of closed cycle cryogenic coolers, which are mechanically aligned and electrically phased to eliminate vibration. In addition, a transputer based electronics system has been incorporated to facilitate fast frame rates, co-add frames, and ease the data handling burden.
The development of a PtSi array for use in ground-based astronomy has been the goal of a joint effort between the
National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO) and the Hughes Microelectronics Center. This has been accomplished
by the introduction of the SWIR PtSi hybrid array for astronomy. The resulting array has an optical cavity tuned to
enhance the internal quantum efficiency at 1.7 microns, low noise, and low dark current. The use of PtSi Schottky detector
material yields high uniformity and exceptional stability of performance compared to other SWIR materials. Hybrid technology
allows the array to achieve the 100% fill factor needed for astronomical applications and the NMOS SFD readout
yields very low noise performance. In this paper we describe these characteristics in more detail and present test data to
demonstrate the array performance.