The QUIJOTE-CMB project has been described in previous publications. Here we present the current status of the
QUIJOTE multi-frequency instrument (MFI) with five separate polarimeters (providing 5 independent sky pixels): two
which operate at 10-14 GHz, two which operate at 16-20 GHz, and a central polarimeter at 30 GHz. The optical
arrangement includes 5 conical corrugated feedhorns staring into a dual reflector crossed-draconian system, which
provides optimal cross-polarization properties (designed to be < −35 dB) and symmetric beams. Each horn feeds a novel
cryogenic on-axis rotating polar modulator which can rotate at a speed of up to 1 Hz. The science driver for this first
instrument is the characterization of the galactic emission. The polarimeters use the polar modulator to derive linear
polar parameters Q, U and I and switch out various systematics. The detection system provides optimum sensitivity
through 2 correlated and 2 total power channels. The system is calibrated using bright polarized celestial sources and
through a secondary calibration source and antenna. The acquisition system, telescope control and housekeeping are all
linked through a real-time gigabit Ethernet network. All communication, power and helium gas are passed through a
central rotary joint. The time stamp is synchronized to a GPS time signal. The acquisition software is based on PLCs
written in Beckhoffs TwinCat and ethercat. The user interface is written in LABVIEW. The status of the QUIJOTE MFI
will be presented including pre-commissioning results and laboratory testing.
OSIRIS (Optical System for Imaging and low Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy) was the optical Day One instrument
for the 10.4m Spanish telescope GTC. It is installed at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos (La Palma, Spain).
This instrument has been operational since March-2009 and covers from 360 to 1000 nm. OSIRIS observing modes
include direct imaging with tunable and conventional filters, long slit and low resolution spectroscopy. OSIRIS wide
field of view and high efficiency provide a powerful tool for the scientific exploitation of GTC. OSIRIS was developed
by a Consortium formed by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Instituto de Astronomía de la
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IA-UNAM). The latter was in charge of the optical design, the manufacture
of the camera and collaboration in the assembly, integration and verification process. The IAC was responsible for the
remaining design of the instrument and it was the project leader. The present paper considers the development of the
instrument from its design to its present situation in which is in used by the scientific community.
OSIRIS (Optical System for Imaging and low Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy) is the optical Day One instrument for the 10.4m Spanish telescope GTC (Gran Telescopio Canarias). The instrument spectral range covers from 365 up to 1000 nm. One of the most important elements of OSIRIS is its two commercial ICOS ET100 wide field Fabry-Perot tunable filters, that will provide a powerful tool to analyse faint emission line objects. Currently, the unique controller available for such device is the so called CS100. Due to the necessity of improvement and addition of some specifications of such controller, a first prototype electronic module has been made and tested successfully. Now, it has developed the final product: a compact mini-module integrated in the CS100 controller, offering a 16-bit resolution over the full range cavity spacing; be able to synchronize cavity changes with an external trigger; full remote control over the front panel of the device and capability to monitor all their signals. It also offers the possibility to load a preprogrammed table sequence of cavity spacing changes, programmable security limits of dynamic range and slew rate applied; and it has high stability over time too. The electronic control is based on an embedded microcontroller into a FPGA.
Real-time control has been clearly identified as a separate challenging field within Adaptive Optics, where a lot of computations have to be performed at kilohertz rate to properly actuate the mirror(s) before the input wavefront information has become obsolete. When considering giant telescopes, the number of guide stars, wavefront samples and actuators rises to a level where the amount of processing is far from being manageable by today's conventional processors and even from the expectations given by Moore's law for the next years. FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) technology has been proposed to overcome this problem by using its massively parallel nature and its superb speed. A complete laboratory test bench using only one FPGA was developed by our group , and now this paper summarizes the early results of a real telescope adaptive optics system based in the FPGA-only approach. The system has been installed in the OGS telescope at "Observatorio del Teide", Tenerife, Spain, showing that a complete system with 64 Shack-Hartmann microlenses and 37 actuators (plus tip-tilt mirror) can be implemented with a real time control completely contained within a Xilinx Virtex-4 LX25 FPGA. The wavefront sensor has been implemented using a PULNIX gigabit ethernet camera (714 frames per second), and an ANDOR IXON camera has been used for the
evaluation of the overall correcting behavior.
FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) technology has become a very powerful tool available to the electronic designer, specially after the spreading of high quality synthesis and simulation software packages at very affordable prices. They also offer high physical integration levels and high speed, and eases the implementation of parallelism to obtain superb features. Adaptive optics for the next generation telescopes (50-100 m diameter) -or improved versions for existing ones- requires a huge amount of processing power that goes beyond the practical limits of today's processor capability, and perhaps tomorrow's, so FPGAs may become a viable approach. In order to evaluate the feasibility of such a system, a laboratory adaptive optical test bench has been developed, using only FPGAs in its closed loop processing chain. A Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor has been implemented using a 955-image per second DALSA CA-D6 camera, and a 37-channel OKO mirror has been used for wavefront correcting. Results are presented and extrapolation of the behavior for large and extremely large telescopes is discussed.