The SNIFS CALibration Apparatus (SCALA), a device to calibrate the Supernova Integral Field Spectrograph on the University Hawaii 2.2m telescope, was developed and installed in Spring 2014. SCALA produces an artificial planet with a diameter of 1° and a constant surface brightness. The wavelength of the beam can be tuned between 3200 Å and 10000 Å and has a bandwidth of 35 Å. The amount of light injected into the telescope is monitored with NIST calibrated photodiodes. SCALA was upgraded in 2015 with a mask installed at the entrance pupil of the UH88 telescope, ensuring that the illumination of the telescope by stars is similar to that of SCALA. With this setup, a first calibration run was performed in conjunction with the spectrophotometric observations of standard stars. We present first estimates for the expected systematic uncertainties of the in-situ calibration and discuss the results of tests that examine the influence of stray light produced in the optics.
Observational cosmology employing optical surveys often require precise flux calibration. In this context we present SNIFS Calibration Apparatus (SCALA), a flux calibration system developed for the SuperNova Integral Field Spectrograph (SNIFS), operating at the University of Hawaii 2.2 m telescope. SCALA consists of a hexagonal array of 18 small parabolic mirrors distributed over the face of, and feeding parallel light to, the telescope entrance pupil. The mirrors are illuminated by integrating spheres and a wavelength-tunable (from UV to IR) light source, generating light beams with opening angles of 1°. These nearly parallel beams are flat and flux-calibrated at a subpercent level, enabling us to calibrate our “telescope + SNIFS system” at the required precision.
Virtual Control Room allows a team of people in various locations to contribute fully to an instrument acquisition:
a reduced support is required on site but, due to the large support available off site, the data taking quality can be
still better compared to the usual on-site support scheme. The acquisition of the SNfactory spectro-photometric
follow-up is based on such data taking model. This acquisition and its performances are presented here.
We present new characterization results for a large format, 15 um pixel pitch, 2kx4k format, p-channel CCD fabricated on high resistivity silicon at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The fully-depleted device is 300 um thick and backside illuminated utilizing 4-side buttable packaging. We report on measurements of standard operating characteristics including charge transfer efficiency, readout noise, cosmetics performance, dark current, and well depth. We have also made preliminary measurements of the device's X-Ray energy resolution and tests of device linearity.
Mission requirements, the baseline design, and optical systems budgets for the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) telescope are presented. SNAP is a proposed space-based experiment designed to study dark energy and alternate explanations of the acceleration of the universe’s expansion by performing a series of complementary systematics-controlled astrophysical measurements. The goals of the mission are a Type Ia supernova Hubble diagram and a wide-field weak gravitational lensing survey. A 2m widefield three-mirror telescope feeds a focal plane consisting of 36 CCDs and 36 HgCdTe detectors and a high-efficiency, low resolution integral field spectrograph. Details of the maturing optical system, with emphasis on structural stability during terrestrial testing as well as expected environments during operations at L2 are discussed. The overall stray light mitigation system, including illuminated surfaces and visible objects are also presented.
A well-adapted spectrograph concept has been developed for the SNAP (SuperNova/Acceleration Probe) experiment. The goal is to ensure proper identification of Type Iz supernovae and to standardize the magnitude of each candidate by determining explosion parameters. The spectrograph is also a key element for the calibration of the science mission. An instrument based on an integral field method with the powerful concept of imager slicing has been designed and is presented in this paper. The spectrograph concept is optimized to have high efficiency and low spectral resolution (R~100), constant through the wavelength range (0.35-1.7μm), adapted to the scientific goals of the mission.
SNIFS is an integral field spectrograph devoted to the observation of supernovae. This instrument is today in the manufacturing phase and should be able to observe supernovae at the end of this year (2003) on the 2.2m telescope of University Hawaii. The concept of SNIFS is to split the 6” x 6” field of view into 225 samples of 0.4” x 0.4” through a microlens array. Then the spectral decomposition of each sample is imaged on a 2k x 4k CCD. In order to cover all the large spectral range with a high resolution, the spectrograph is composed of two modules, one for the blue wavelengths (320 nm to 560nm)with a resolution around 1000 at 430 nm and one for the red wavelengths (520 nm to 1 µm) with a resolution around 1300 at 760 nm. First we will present the optical design and detail the function of each optical component. Then the mechanical design will be shown with some maps of the structure. Finally the first pictures taken during the alignments will be displayed.
We present the baseline telescope design for the telescope for the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) space mission. SNAP’s purpose is to determine expansion history of the Universe by measuring the redshifts, magnitudes, and spectral classifications of thousands of supernovae with unprecedented accuracy. Discovering and measuring these supernovae demand both a wide optical field and a high sensitivity throughout the visible and near IR wavebands. We have adopted the annular-field three-mirror anastigmat (TMA) telescope configuration, whose classical aberrations (including chromatic) are zero. We show a preliminary optmechanical design that includes important features for stray light control and on-orbit adjustment and alignment of the optics. We briefly discuss stray light and tolerance issues, and present a preliminary wavefront error budget for the SNAP Telescope. We conclude by describing some of the design tasks being carried out during the current SNAP research and development phase.
The proposed SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will have a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction-limited images to an instrumented 0.7 square degree field in the visible and near-infrared wavelength regime. The requirements for the instrument suite and the present configuration of the focal plane concept are presented. A two year R&D phase, largely supported by the Department of Energy, is just beginning. We describe the development activities that are taking place to advance our preparedness for mission proposal in the areas of detectors and electronics.
The SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) will measure precisely the cosmological expansion history over both the acceleration and deceleration epochs and thereby constrain the nature of the dark energy that dominates our universe today. The SNAP focal plane contains equal areas of optical CCDs and NIR sensors and an integral field spectrograph. Having over 150 million pixels and a field-of-view of 0.34 square degrees, the SNAP NIR system will be the largest yet constructed. With sensitivity in the range 0.9-1.7 μm, it will detect Type Ia supernovae between z = 1 and 1.7 and will provide follow-up precision photometry for all supernovae. HgCdTe technology, with a cut-off tuned to 1.7 μm, will permit passive cooling at 140 K while maintaining noise below zodiacal levels. By dithering to remove the effects of intrapixel variations and by careful attention to other instrumental effects, we expect to control relative photometric accuracy below a few hundredths of a magnitude. Because SNAP continuously revisits the same fields we will be able to achieve outstanding statistical precision on the photometry of reference stars in these fields, allowing precise monitoring of our detectors. The capabilities of the NIR system for broadening the science reach of SNAP are discussed.
A well-adapted spectrograph concept has been developed for the SNAP (SuperNova/Acceleration Probe) experiment. The goal is to ensure proper identification of Type Ia supernovae and to standardize the magnitude of each candidate by determining explosion parameters. An instrument based on an integral field method with the powerful concept of imager slicing has been designed and is presented in this paper. The spectrograph concept is optimized to have very high efficiency and low spectral resolution (R~100), constant through the wavelength range (0.35-1.7μm), adapted to the scientific goals of the mission.
The proposed SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will have a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction-limited images to an instrumented 0.7 square-degree field sensitive in the visible and near-infrared wavelength regime. We describe the requirements for the instrument suite and the evolution of the focal plane design to the present concept in which all the instrumentation -- visible and near-infrared imagers, spectrograph, and star guiders -- share one common focal plane.
The Supernova / Acceleration Probe (SNAP) is a proposed space-borne observatory that will survey the sky with a wide-field optical/near-infrared (NIR) imager. The images produced by SNAP will have an unprecedented combination of depth, solid-angle, angular resolution, and temporal sampling. For 16 months each, two 7.5 square-degree fields will be observed every four days to a magnitude depth of AB=27.7 in each of the SNAP filters, spanning 3500-17000Å. Co-adding images over all epochs will give AB=30.3 per filter. In addition, a 300 square-degree field will be surveyed to AB=28 per filter, with no repeated temporal sampling. Although the survey strategy is tailored for supernova and weak gravitational lensing observations, the resulting data will support a broad range of auxiliary science programs.
The Nearby Supernova Factory (Snfactory) is an international experiment designed to lay the foundation for the next generation of cosmology experiments (such as CFHTLS, wP, SNAP and LSST) which will measure the expansion history of the Universe using Type Ia supernovae. The Snfactory will discover and obtain frequent lightcurve spectrophotometry covering 3200-10000Å for roughly 300 Type Ia supernovae at the low-redshift end of the smooth Hubble flow. The quantity, quality, breadth of galactic environments, and homogeneous nature of the Snfactory dataset will make it the premier source of calibration for the Type Ia supernova width-brightness relation and the intrinsic supernova colors used for K-correction and correction for extinction by host-galaxy dust. This dataset will also allow an extensive investigation of additional parameters which possibly influence the quality of Type Ia supernovae as cosmological probes. The Snfactory search capabilities and follow-up instrumentation include wide-field CCD imagers on two 1.2-m telescopes (via collaboration with the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking team at JPL and the QUEST team at Yale), and a two-channel integral-field-unit optical spectrograph/imager being fabricated for the University of Hawaii 2.2-m telescope. In addition to ground-based follow-up, UV spectra for a subsample of these supernovae will be obtained with HST. The pipeline to obtain, transfer via wireless and standard internet, and automatically process the search images is in operation. Software and hardware development is now underway to enable the execution of follow-up spectroscopy of supernova candidates at the Hawaii 2.2-m telescope via automated remote control of the telescope and the IFU spectrograph/imager.
The SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission will require a two-meter class telescope delivering diffraction limited images spanning a one degree field in the visible and near infrared wavelength regime. This requirement, equivalent to nearly one billion pixel resolution, places stringent demands on its optical system in terms of field flatness, image quality, and freedom from chromatic aberration. We discuss the advantages of annular-field three-mirror anastigmat (TMA) telescopes for applications such as SNAP, and describe the features of the specific optical configuration that we have baselined for the SNAP mission. We discuss the mechanical design and choice of materials for the telescope. Then we present detailed ray traces and diffraction calculations for our baseline optical design. We briefly discuss stray light and tolerance issues, and present a preliminary wavefront error budget for the SNAP Telescope. We conclude by describing some of tasks to be carried out during the upcoming SNAP research and development phase.
The SuperNova / Acceleration Probe (SNAP) is a space-based experiment to measure the expansion history of the Universe and study both its dark energy and the dark matter. The experiment is motivated by the startling discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. A 0.7~square-degree imager comprised of 36 large format fully-depleted n-type CCD's sharing a focal plane with 36 HgCdTe detectors forms the heart of SNAP, allowing discovery and lightcurve measurements simultaneously for many supernovae. The imager and a high-efficiency low-resolution integral field spectrograph are coupled to a 2-m three mirror anastigmat wide-field telescope, which will be placed in a high-earth orbit. The SNAP mission can obtain high-signal-to-noise calibrated light-curves and spectra for over 2000 Type Ia supernovae at redshifts between z = 0.1 and 1.7. The resulting data set can not only determine the amount of dark energy with high precision, but test the nature of the dark energy by examining its equation of state. In particular, dark energy due to a cosmological constant can be differentiated from alternatives such as "quintessence", by measuring the dark energy's equation of state to an accuracy of ± 0.05, and by studying its time dependence.