The Wide Field Survey Telescope (WFST) is a proposed 2.5m-aperture wide field survey telescope intended for dedicated wide field sciences in China. The focal-plane instrument is a mosaic CCD camera comprising 9 pieces of 9K×9K pixels CCD chips. In order to verify the WFST mosaic solution, we designed a 2×2 mosaic camera test system using CCD303- 88. The mechanical design of vacuum chamber, cryogenic refrigeration of CCD, mosaic CCD technique and multi CCD control electronic have been implemented on this system. We design a CCD controller capable of controlling two pieces of CCDs and a power supply module for the controller. The cryogenic refrigeration control is implemented with a refrigerator and temperature control electronics.
The Antarctic Plateau is one of the best places for infrared and submillimeter observations in the world, which has the advantages of high altitude, low water vapor and low atmospheric thermal radiation. It is indispensable for the design of instruments to know the environment of the observatory site in advance, especially the infrared sky background brightness. It determines the ultimate magnitude of infrared observation of the equipment, which is an important reference to evaluate whether a candidate site is suitable for constructing corresponding equipment. We have designed a NIR sky brightness monitor (NISBM) based on InGaAs photodiode, which is used to monitor the J, H and Ks bands of sky background brightness at the Dome A. In the Ks band the signal is sensitive to thermal radiation and temperature fluctuations. So, it needs to be calibrated in real time by a surface source blackbody. According to this requirement, we have designed a surface source blackbody that has the property of low temperature resistance, high emissivity, and high temperature uniformity. The device has a compact structure. The control system and the radiation surface are packaged in the same square house, which is suitable for outfield installation and calibration with low ambient temperature.
With the increase of human activities in space, a large number of space artifacts have been generated around the Earth which called Near Earth Objects (NEO), most of which are space debris. CMOS image sensor can achieve very high frame rate by electronical shutter and suitable for NEO observation with its fast moving. For space objects observation, key technologies of a large-format and high-rate scientific CMOS camera were studied, including low-noise readout and low-interference refrigeration technology, real-time processing algorithm, high-speed data transmission technology, system integration technology and high precision timing technology , etc. A 4K*4K pixel scientific CMOS camera is introduced in this paper with 24fps rate in full frame mode and high timing accuracy of exposure synchronization with 10ns, which has great advantages for the initial orbit positioning of the space objects. The overall size of the camera is 143mm * 160mm * 168mm. The readout noise of the camera is about 4.4e-. At present, the camera has been installed and running at Xinglong Observatory.
The infrared astronomy is a very important branch of astronomy. Imaging observation is the basic approach to conduct infrared astronomy observation. Therefore, infrared Focus Plane Array (FPA) detector is needed for an infrared telescope. Detection toward celestial body need the detector to have high performance like extremely low dark current and low readout noise. Therefore, we designed a test equipment based on a 640 × 512 InGaAs array detector with a cryocooler which can cool the detector down to 77K. The detector is InGaAs of SITP-Hu-I type which is sensitive to 0.9us ~ 1.7um band. The test equipment is composed of a vacuum cryocooling system, a mechanical system and an electronical system. The vacuum cryocooling system can provide a low-temperature vacuum environment for the detector, and the mechanical system provides firm supporting. The electronic system provides the driver and readout of the detector.
The infrared sky brightness level is an important parameter for infrared astronomical observation from the ground. It is necessary to obtain the infrared sky brightness level at an observatory site to evaluate the feasibility of infrared telescopes and instruments. In order to evaluate the possibility of developing infrared astronomical observations at several sites in China, the design of a continuous-scanning near-infrared sky brightness monitor (CNISBM), measuring 2.5 to 5 μm infrared sky brightness based on an InSb detector and a linear variable filter, is proposed. The optics and the detector were put in a vacuumed cryogenic dewar to reduce the background emission. The CNISBM has been tested by measuring the flux intensity of the observing window in the L-band. The results show that the sensitivity of CNISBM satisfies the requirements of the observations of 2.5- to 5-μm near-infrared sky brightness.
The Antarctica Plateau with high altitude, low water vapor and low thermal emission from the atmosphere is known as one of the best sites on the earth for conducting astronomical observations from the near infrared to the sub-millimeter. Many optical astronomical telescopes are proposed by Chinese astronomical society at present, such as Kunlun Dark Universe Survey Telescope (KDUST), 6.5-meter optical telescopes and 12-meter optical and infrared telescopes. Accurate estimation of the sky background brightness of proposed sites provides the scientific basis for instruments design and observatory site selection. Based on this requirement, a near-infrared sky brightness monitor (NISBM) based on InGaAs photoelectric diode is designed by using the method of chopper modulation and digital lock-in amplifier in the near infrared band of J, H, Ks. The adaptability of the monitor under extremely low temperature conditions in Antarctica is promoted by taking advantage of PID heating and fault detection system. Considering the weak signal of Ks band in Antarctica, a surface blackbody is equipped for real-time calibration. For the adverse circumstances to human, an EPICS and Web based Remote Control Software is implemented for unattended operation. The NISBM has been successfully installed in Dome A, Antarctica on January 2019.
The 2.5~5um infrared band is an important waveband in infrared astronomy research. Infrared sky brightness monitoring is an important part of ground-based infrared astronomical observations. The measurement of infrared sky brightness and the characteristics of the infrared observation conditions of an area, especially the average intensity and variation parameters of infrared radiation will provide an important reference for future design of infrared telescopes and other observation instruments. We designed a sky brightness spectrograph for 2.5-5um continuous infrared spectroscopy using an InSb detector and conduct a test measurement of the sky brightness radiation intensity with L band whose center wavelength is 3.77um.
The wide field survey telescope (WFST for short) is a new generation survey telescope located in Lenghuzhen, Qinghai Province in China, and has outstanding performance in sky survey. However, the feature demands a rigid flatness 20μm PV of the prime focus plane of the prime focus camera. The CCD290-99 flatness 15μm PV and -100°C working condition pose challenges to the CCD splicing. In order to verify the CCD mosaicing technology for WFST’s prime focus camera before the sensor arriving, we use the CCD 303-88 in our lab to set up the verification platform. In this article, we mainly introduce the recent research status of the platform.
The Ngari (Ali) observatory is located in Ngari, Tibet, a region known as “the roof of the roof of the world.” The observatory benefits from abundant photometric nights, low perceptible water vapor, high transmittance, and good seeing. Due to these advantages, it promises to be one of the best locations in the world at which to make infrared and submillimeter observations. However, no data on the sky background radiation at this location are available, impacting the planning of future facilities at the observatory. To remedy this deficiency, a near-infrared sky brightness monitor (NISBM) has been designed to obtain data in the J, H, and Ks bands. This monitor is based on an InGaAs photoelectric diode and uses chopper modulation and digital lock-in amplifier processing, which considerably enhance its signal-to-noise ratio, detectivity, and data acquisition speed. An independent device has been designed for each band (J, H, and Ks) and calibrated in the laboratory. The NISBM was installed at the Ngari observatory in July 2017 and has obtained the first NIR sky brightness data for that location.
The 1.2m Quantum Teleportation Telescope imaging system is a multi-band imaging system with dual channels called ‘red end’ and ‘blue end’. Each channel includes a CCD camera and a filter wheel system, and the blue end contains a focusing system. In order to improve the tracking accuracy, the guiding CCD is designed and deployed. The imaging system studies the mass of the black hole and the structure of AGN by observing the variation of AGN spectral line. In order to improve the observation efficiency, we design and implement a multi-level remote unattended observation and control system. The system adopts the framework of combining RTS2 and EPICS. EPICS is used to realize the individual control of each device. We defined status code and split device properties for debugging purpose or high-level invocating purpose. The EPICS Channel Access is integrated into the RTS2 software and a set of configurations in XML format is designed so that the RTS2 module can find the EPICS application. In the RTS2 layer, we developed a module for the coordinated control of the equipment. The module is responsible for sending instructions to the telescope and the guiding module according to the pre-defined list of observation plans, switching to the corresponding filter, and performing exposure operations. Finally, we developed web service and used web pages as user interface, which makes it convenient for users to control the telescope remotely and complete the observation task.
The Astronomical Imaging System of a 1.2-meter-aperture Telescope is a multi-band imaging system with red and blue channels. The mass and structure of AGN central black hole are studied by observing the change of AGN spectral line. We designed an optical system with dual channels, changing the focal length ratio of telescope from f/8.429 to f/5 through the lens, and divide the optical path into red and blue channels through the beam splitter. The red waveband is 650nm1000nm and the blue waveband is 400nm-650nm. Each channel has a CCD camera. We set up focusing lens before the camera of blue channel to compensate the difference focusing length between red and blue channel after the red channel being focused by adjusting the telescope. For the realization of three groups of broadband photometry and twenty-four groups of narrowband photometry, an automatic filter wheel system is designed to switch the filter. At the same time, in order to reduce the influence of temperature drift of the filter, a constant temperature adjusting system for filter wheel box is carried out. In order to overcome the issue that the telescope itself does not have enough tracking accuracy, a guiding system for the imaging system is designed and implemented. Finally, we designed and implemented a multi-level software control system so that the users can remotely control the telescope.
A guiding system is designed, implemented and tested for our 1.2-meter Quantum-Teleportation Telescope Imaging System, due to the lack of accuracy of its own star tracking function. This paper at first introduces some key technologies of the system including star extraction, offset computation, star tracking, offset conversion and exception handling. The guiding system is implemented as a RTS2 device, and interacts with a guiding CCD and telescope. The workflow control of the guiding process is pushed forward by a finite-state machine. The system is tested in Delingha, Qinghai province. In cloudless condition, the guiding system can work for 15 min continuously, and long-exposure images produced by main CCDs can meet scientific requirements.
Infrared sky background level is an important parameter of grounded infrared astronomy observations, which should be firstly measured in a good infrared observatory site, and only the site with low background level is suitable for infrared observations. Infrared sky background level can provide background data for the design of related infrared instruments. However, there is no such data available for major sites in China. Based on the requirement, In order to supplement the current site survey data and guide the design of future infrared instruments, a multiband near-infrared sky brightness monitor (MNISBM) based on an InSb sensor is designed in this paper. The MNISBM consists of optical system, mechanical structure and control system, detector and cooler, high gain readout electronic system, operational software. It is completed and carried out an experimental measurement in the laboratory. The result shows that the sensitivity of the MNISBM meets the requirements of the measurement of near-infrared sky background level.
Tibet is known as the third pole of the earth. The Ngari (Ali) observatory in Tibet is a good site, and promising to be one of the best place for infrared and submillimeter observations in the world. However, there is no data available for sky background brightness in such place. In the near infrared band of J, H, Ks, a NIR sky brightness monitor (NISBM) is designed based on InGaAs photoelectric diode. By using the method of chopper modulation and digital lock-in amplifier processing, the SNR (Signal Noise Ratio), detectivity and the data acquisition speed of the device is greatly improved. The NISBM has been installed in Ngari observatory in July of 2017 and obtained the first data of NIR sky brightness at Ngari observatory.