The Dark Energy Survey Collaboration has completed construction of the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), a 3 square
degree, 570 Megapixel CCD camera which will be mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at CTIO. DECam will be
used to perform the 5000 sq. deg. Dark Energy Survey with 30% of the telescope time over a 5 year period. During the
remainder of the time, and after the survey, DECam will be available as a community instrument. All components of
DECam have been shipped to Chile and post-shipping checkout finished in Jan. 2012. Installation is in progress. A
summary of lessons learned and an update of the performance of DECam and the status of the DECam installation and
commissioning will be presented.
The Dark Energy Camera and its cooling system has been shipped to Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile
for installation onto the Blanco 4m telescope. Along with the camera, the cooling system has been installed in the Coudé
room at the Blanco Telescope. Final installation of the cooling system and operations on the telescope is planned for the
middle of 2012. Initial commissioning experiences and cooling system performance is described.
The Dark Energy Survey CCD imager was constructed at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and delivered to
the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile for installation onto the Blanco 4m telescope. Several efforts are
described relating to preparation of the instrument for transport, development and testing of a shipping crate designed to
minimize transportation loads transmitted to the camera, and inspection of the imager upon arrival at the observatory.
Transportation loads were monitored and are described. For installation of the imager at the telescope prime focus,
where it mates with its previously-installed optical corrector, specialized tooling was developed to safely lift, support,
and position the vessel. The installation and removal processes were tested on the Telescope Simulator mockup at
FNAL, thus minimizing technical and schedule risk for the work performed at CTIO. Final installation of the imager is
scheduled for August 2012.
The Dark Energy Camera (DECam) is the new wide field prime-focus imager for the Blanco 4m telescope at CTIO.
This instrument is a 2.2 sq. deg. camera with a 45 cm diameter focal plane consisting of 62 2k × 4k CCDs and 12 2k × 2k
CCDs and was developed for the Dark Energy Survey that will start operations at CTIO in 2011. DECam includes the
vessel shell, the optical window cell, the CCDs with their readout electronics and vacuum interface, the focal plane
support plate and its mounts, and the cooling system and thermal controls. Assembly of the imager, alignment of the
focal plane and installation of the CCDs are described. During DECam development a full scale prototype was used for
multi-CCD readout tests. This test vessel went through several stages as the CCDs and related hardware progressed
from early prototypes to final production designs.
The Dark Energy Camera (DECam) is the new wide field prime-focus imager for the Blanco 4m telescope at CTIO. This
instrument is a 3 sq. deg. camera with a 45 cm diameter focal plane consisting of 62 2k × 4k CCDs and 12 2k × 2k CCDs
and was developed for the Dark Energy Survey that will start operations at CTIO in 2011. The DECam CCD array is
inside the imager vessel. The focal plate is cooled using a closed loop liquid nitrogen system. As part of the development
of the mechanical and cooling design, a full scale prototype imager vessel has been constructed and is now being used
for Multi-CCD readout tests. The cryogenic cooling system and thermal controls are described along with cooling
results from the prototype camera. The cooling system layout on the Blanco telescope in Chile is described.
The Dark Energy Survey Camera (DECam) will be comprised of a mosaic of 74 charge-coupled devices (CCDs). The
Dark Energy Survey (DES) science goals set stringent technical requirements for the CCDs. The CCDs are provided by
LBNL with valuable cold probe data at 233 K, providing an indication of which CCDs are more likely to pass. After
comprehensive testing at 173 K, about half of these qualify as science grade. Testing this large number of CCDs to
determine which best meet the DES requirements is a very time-consuming task. We have developed a multistage
testing program to automatically collect and analyze CCD test data. The test results are reviewed to select those CCDs
that best meet the technical specifications for charge transfer efficiency, linearity, full well capacity, quantum efficiency,
noise, dark current, cross talk, diffusion, and cosmetics.
The Dark Energy Camera is an wide field imager currently
under construction for the Dark Energy Survey.
This instrument will use fully depleted 250 μm thick
CCD detectors selected for their higher quantum efficiency
in the near infrared with respect to thinner devices.
The detectors were developed by LBNL using
high resistivity Si substrate. The full set of scientific
detectors needed for DECam has now been fabricated,
packaged and tested. We present here the results of
the testing and characterization for these devices and
compare these results with the technical requirements
for the Dark Energy Survey.
The Dark Energy Survey Collaboration is building the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), a 3 square degree, 520
Megapixel CCD camera which will be mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at CTIO. DECam will be used to
perform the 5000 sq. deg. Dark Energy Survey with 30% of the telescope time over a 5 year period. During the
remainder of the time, and after the survey, DECam will be available as a community instrument. Construction of
DECam is well underway. Integration and testing of the major system components has already begun at Fermilab and
the collaborating institutions.
We describe the results obtained cleaning the surface of DECam CCD detectors with a new electrostatic dissipative
formulation of First ContactTM polymer from Photonic Cleaning Technologies. We demonstrate that
cleaning with this new product is possible without ESD damage to the sensors and without degradation of the
antireflective coating used to optimize the optical performance of the detector. We show that First ContactTM
is more effective for cleaning a CCD than the commonly used acetone swab.
DECam is a 520 Mpix, 3 square-deg FOV imager being built for the Blanco 4m Telescope at CTIO. This facility
instrument will be used for the "Dark Energy Survey" of the southern galactic cap. DECam has chosen 250 μm thick
CCDs, developed at LBNL, with good QE in the near IR for the focal plane. In this work we present the characterization
of these detectors done by the DES team, and compare it to the DECam technical requirements. The results demonstrate
that the detectors satisfy the needs for instrument.
The Dark Energy Survey is planning to use a 3 sq. deg. camera that houses a ~ 0.5m diameter focal plane of 62 2k×4k
CCDs. The camera vessel including the optical window cell, focal plate, focal plate mounts, cooling system and thermal
controls is described. As part of the development of the mechanical and cooling design, a full scale prototype camera
vessel has been constructed and is now being used for multi-CCD readout tests. Results from this prototype camera are
We describe the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which will be the primary instrument used in the Dark Energy Survey.
DECam will be a 3 sq. deg. mosaic camera mounted at the prime focus of the Blanco 4m telescope at the Cerro-Tololo
International Observatory (CTIO). DECam includes a large mosaic CCD focal plane, a five element optical corrector,
five filters (g,r,i,z,Y), and the associated infrastructure for operation in the prime focus cage. The focal plane consists of
62 2K x 4K CCD modules (0.27"/pixel) arranged in a hexagon inscribed within the roughly 2.2 degree diameter field of
view. The CCDs will be 250 micron thick fully-depleted CCDs that have been developed at the Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory (LBNL). Production of the CCDs and fabrication of the optics, mechanical structure, mechanisms,
and control system for DECam are underway; delivery of the instrument to CTIO is scheduled for 2010.
A description of the plans and infrastructure developed for CCD testing and characterization for the DES focal plane detectors is presented. Examples of the results obtained are shown and discussed in the context of the device requirements for the survey instrument.
The Dark Energy Survey Camera focal plane array will consist of 62 2k x 4k CCDs with a pixel size of 15 microns and
a silicon thickness of 250 microns for use at wavelengths between 400 and 1000 nm. Bare CCD die will be received
from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). At the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the bare die
will be packaged into a custom back-side-illuminated module design. Cold probe data from LBNL will be used to
select the CCDs to be packaged. The module design utilizes an aluminum nitride readout board and spacer and an Invar
foot. A module flatness of 3 microns over small (1 sqcm) areas and less than 10 microns over neighboring areas on a
CCD are required for uniform images over the focal plane. A confocal chromatic inspection system is being developed
to precisely measure flatness over a grid up to 300 x 300 mm. This system will be utilized to inspect not only room-temperature
modules, but also cold individual modules and partial arrays through flat dewar windows.