22 July 2008 LCOGT Imaging Lab
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Abstract
The Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT) is an ambitious project to build and operate, within 5 years, a worldwide robotic network of 50 0.4, 1, and 2 m telescopes sharing identical instrumentation and optimized for precision photometry of time-varying sources. The telescopes, instrumentation, and software are all developed in house with two 2 m telescopes already installed. The LCOGT Imaging Lab is responsible for assembly and characterization of the network's cameras and instrumentation. In addition to a fully equipped CNC machine shop, two electronics labs, and a future optics lab, the Imaging Lab is designed from the ground up to be a superb environment for bare detectors, precision filters, and assembled instruments. At the heart of the lab is an ISO class 5 cleanroom with full ionization. Surrounding this, the class 7 main lab houses equipment for detector characterization including QE and CTE, and equipment for measuring transmission and reflection of optics. Although the first science cameras installed, two TEC cooled e2v 42-40 deep depletion based units and two CryoTiger cooled Fairchild Imaging CCD486-BI based units, are from outside manufacturers, their 18 position filter wheels and the remainder of the network's science cameras, controllers, and instrumentation will be built in house. Currently being designed, the first generation LCOGT cameras for the network's 1 m telescopes use existing CCD486-BI devices and an in-house controller. Additionally, the controller uses digital signal processing to optimize readout noise vs. speed, and all instrumentation uses embedded microprocessors for communication over ethernet.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Joseph R. Tufts, Rich Lobdill, Benjamin J. Haldeman, Rachel Haynes, Eric Hawkins, Ben Burleson, David Jahng, "LCOGT Imaging Lab", Proc. SPIE 7021, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy III, 70210A (22 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.790144; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.790144
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