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15 July 2010 Readout electronics for the Dark Energy Camera
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The goal of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) is to measure the dark energy equation of state parameter with four complementary techniques: galaxy cluster counts, weak lensing, angular power spectrum and type Ia supernovae. DES will survey a 5000 sq. degrees area of the sky in five filter bands using a new 3 deg2 mosaic camera (DECam) mounted at the prime focus of the Blanco 4-meter telescope at the Cerro-Tololo International Observatory (CTIO). DECam is a ~520 megapixel optical CCD camera that consists of 62 2k x 4k science sensors plus 4 2k x 2k sensors for guiding. The CCDs, developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and packaged and tested at Fermilab, have been selected to obtain images efficiently at long wavelengths. A front-end electronics system has been developed specifically to perform the CCD readout. The system is based in Monsoon, an open source image acquisition system designed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). The electronics consists mainly of three types of modules: Control, Acquisition and Clock boards. The system provides a total of 132 video channels, 396 bias levels and around 1000 clock channels in order to readout the full mosaic at 250 kpixel/s speed with 10 e- noise performance. System configuration and data acquisition is done by means of six 0.8 Gbps optical links. The production of the whole system is currently underway. The contribution will focus on the testing, calibration and general performance of the full system in a realistic environment.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Javier Castilla, Otger Ballester, Laia Cardiel, Steve Chappa, Juan de Vicente, Scott Holm, David Huffman, Mark Kozlovsky, Gustavo Martinez, Jamieson Olsen, Theresa Shaw, and Walter Stuermer "Readout electronics for the Dark Energy Camera", Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77352O (15 July 2010);


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