8 October 2005 Low noise CCD cameras for wide field astronomy
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Abstract
Modern research trends require observation of fainter and fainter astronomical objects on large areas of the sky. This implies usage of systems with high temporal and optical resolution with computer based data acquisition and processing. Therefore Charge Coupled Devices became so popular. They offer quick picture conversion with much better quality than film based technologies. There are two main trends in astronomical observations. First one is construction of large telescopes with sensitive picture sensors. They allow further exploration of the Universe. An example is the KECK telescope in Hawaii. The other trend is presented by systems that perform observation of large areas of the sky with high resolution in time. They are used to investigate objects, which rapidly change their position or intensity. They are often quite bright, thus the sensitivity of such measurement systems is not so critical. Because of huge amount of data from detector, the analysis must be performed on-line. This way, there is a large reduction of data that are archived and processed later. The example of project that realizes the concept of variable sky objects observation is "Pi of The Sky". The main field of interest is detection of optical flashes that accompany star's explosions. The conditions that are present during such an events are similar to ones that had place in the young Universe. That's why this research is interesting also for particle physics. This work is theoretical and practical study of the CCD based picture acquisition system. This system was optimized for "Pi of The Sky" project. But it can be adapted to another professional astronomical researches. The work includes issue of picture conversion, signal acquisition, data transfer and mechanical construction of the device.
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Grzegorz Kasprowicz, "Low noise CCD cameras for wide field astronomy", Proc. SPIE 5948, Photonics Applications in Industry and Research IV, 59481I (8 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.623018; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.623018
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