The quality of SiFAP (Silicon Fast Astronomical Photometer) at the TNG has already shown its ability to easily detect optical pulses from transitional millisecond pulsars and from other slower neutron stars. Up to now the photometer based on Silicon Photo Multipliers manufactured by Hamamatsu Photonics (MPPC, Multi Pixel Photon Counter) was mounted (on and manually aligned with) a MOS mask at the F/11 focal plane of the telescope. In order to have a more versatile instrument with the possibility to remotely center and point several targets during the night we have decided to build a new mechanical support for the MPPCs and mount it on the Namsyth Interface (NI), where originally OIG and later GIANO were hosted. The MPPC module devoted to observe the target will be placed at the center of the FoV (on-axis), while the reference signal will be collected from a peripheral star in the FoV (Field of view) by means of the MPPC module that will be set at this position by a combination of a linear stage movement and a derotator angle. At the same time we have introduced the option for a polarimetric mode, with a 3rd MPPC module and a polarizing cube beam-splitter that separates the states between this and the on axis MPPC. SiFAP has been developed with 3 independent custom electronic chains for data acquisition, exploiting the 3 different outputs (analog, digital, USB pre-processed) provided by the MPPCs modules. The electronic chain fed by the analog output is able to tag a single photon ToA (Time of Arrival) with a time resolution of 25 ns, while the remaining electronic chains can integrate the signal into time bins from 100 ms down to 20 μs. The absolute time is provided by a GPS unit with a time resolution of 25 ns at 50% of the rising edge of the 1PPS (1 Pulse Per Second) signal which is linked to the UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). Apart from the versatility with the remotely controlled on sky configuration of the MPPCs, the mounting of SiFAP2 at the NI allows for a permanent hosting of the instrument, readily available for observations. The new polarimetric mode will then offer other scientific opportunities that have not been explored so far in high-temporal resolution astronomy.
The Multi-AO Imaging Camera for Deep Observations (MICADO), a first light instrument for the 39 m European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), is being designed and optimized to work with the Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) module MAORY (0.8-2.5 μm). The current concept of the MICADO instrument consists of a structural cryostat (2.1 m diameter and 2 m height) with the wavefront sensor (WFS) on top. The cryostat is mounted via its central flange with a direct interface to a large 2.5-m-diameter high-precision bearing, which rotates the entire camera (plus wavefront sensor) assembly to allow for image derotation without individually moving optical elements. The whole assembly is suspended at 3.6 m above the E-ELT Nasmyth platform by a Hexapod-type support structure. We describe the design of the MICADO derotator, a key mechanism that must precisely rotate the cryostat/SCAO-WFS assembly around its optical axis with an angular positioning accuracy better than 10 arcsec, in order to compensate the field rotation due to the alt-azimuth mount of the E-ELT. Special attention is being given to simulate the performance of the derotator during the design phase, in which both static and dynamics behaviors are being considered in parallel. The statics flexure analysis is done using a detailed Finite Element Model (FEM), while the dynamics simulation is being developed with the mathematical model of the derotator implemented in Matlab/Simulink. Finally, both aspects must be combined through a realistic end-to-end model. The experiment designed to prove the current concept of the MICADO derotator is also presented in this work.
This article presents a proposal aimed at investigating the technical feasibility and the scientific capabilities of high
contrast cameras to be implemented at LBT. Such an instrument will fully exploit the unique LBT capabilities in
Adaptive Optics (AO) as demonstrated by the First Light Adaptive Optics (FLAO) system, which is obtaining excellent
results in terms of performance and reliability. The aim of this proposal is to show the scientific interest of such a
project, together with a conceptual opto-mechanical study which shows its technical feasibility, taking advantage of the
already existing AO systems, which are delivering the highest Strehl experienced in nowadays existing telescopes.
Two channels are foreseen for SHARK, a near infrared channel (2.5-0.9 um) and a visible one (0.9 – 0.6 um), both
providing imaging and coronagraphic modes. The visible channel is equipped with a very fast and low noise detector
running at 1.0 kfps and an IFU spectroscopic port to provide low and medium resolution spectra of 1.5 x 1.5 arcsec
The search of extra solar giant planets is the main science case and the driver for the technical choices of SHARK, but
leaving room for several other interesting scientific topics, which will be briefly depicted here.
Usually observational astronomy is based on direction and intensity of radiation considered as a function of wavelength
and time. Despite the polarisation degree of radiation provides information about asymmetry, anisotropy and magnetic
fields within the radiative source or in the medium along the line of sight, it is commonly ignored. Because of the
importance of high resolution spectropolarimetry to study a large series of phenomena related to the interaction of
radiation with matter, as in stellar atmospheres or more generally stellar envelopes, we designed and built a dual beam
polarimeter for HARPS-N that is in operation at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo. Since the polarisation degree is
measured from the combination of a series of measurements and accuracy is limited by the instrumental stability, just the
great stability (0.6 m/s) and spectral resolution (R=115000) of the HARPS-N spectrograph should result in an accuracy
in the measurements of Stokes parameters as small as 0.01%. Here we report on the design, realization, assembling,
aligning and testing of the polarimetric unit whose first light is planned in August 2014.