9 July 2008 Improved sensitivity of the SOFIA target acquisition and tracking cameras and a high speed diagnostics camera for telescope movements in flight
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Abstract
The telescope of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) uses three CCD based visible light cameras for target acquisition and tracking. All three cameras use the TH7888A CCD chips which are quite suitable in terms of their geometry and readout speed. However, their quantum efficiency and dark current are not comparable to newer high-sensitivity CCD chips now widely used in astronomy. The Deutsche SOFIA Institute (DSI) under contract of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has therefore initiated an upgrade project of the cameras with back-illuminated, high-sensitivity and low dark current CCD chips, e2v 47-20. The expected improvements in sensitivity range between 1.2 and 2.5 stellar magnitudes for the three cameras. In addition, DSI and DLR plan to provide a high-speed camera which can monitor stellar images of the SOFIA main telescope in the visible spectral range at frame rates of up to ~ 300 frames per second. Analysis of image movements at such speeds will help to identify sources of instabilities in flight, such as vibrations and wind loads. Knowledge of such disturbances and their influence on the telescope system will be essential to achieve the requirement of 0.6 arc-seconds (rms) pointing stability.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jürgen Wolf, Jürgen Wolf, Hans-Peter Röser, Hans-Peter Röser, Sascha Tietz, Sascha Tietz, Manuel Wiedemann, Manuel Wiedemann, Enrico Pfüller, Enrico Pfüller, Dietmar Lilienthal, Dietmar Lilienthal, } "Improved sensitivity of the SOFIA target acquisition and tracking cameras and a high speed diagnostics camera for telescope movements in flight", Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 701412 (9 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.790089; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.790089
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