PANIC is the new PAnoramic Near-Infrared camera for Calar Alto, a joint project by the MPIA in Heidelberg, Germany,
and the IAA in Granada, Spain. It can be operated at the 2.2m or 3.5m CAHA telescopes to observe a field of view of
30'x30' or 15'x15' respectively, with a sampling of 4096x4096 pixels. It is designed for the spectral bands from Z to K,
and can be equipped with additional narrow-band filters.
The instrument is close to completion and will be delivered to the observatory in Spain in fall 2014. It is currently in the
last stage of assembly, where the optical elements are being aligned, which will be followed by final laboratory tests of
the instrument. This paper contains an update of the recent progress and shows results from the optical alignment and
detector performance tests.
PANIC, the Panoramic Near Infrared Camera, is an instrument for the Calar Alto Observatory currently being integrated
in laboratory and whose first light is foreseen for end 2012 or early 2013. We present here how the PANIC Quick-Look
tool (PQL) and pipeline (PAPI) are being implemented, using existing rapid programming Python technologies and
packages, together with well-known astronomical software suites (Astromatic, IRAF) and parallel processing techniques.
We will briefly describe the structure of the PQL tool, whose main characteristics are the use of the SQLite database and
PyQt, a Python binding of the GUI toolkit Qt.
PANIC, the PAnoramic Near-Infrared Camera for Calar Alto, is one of the next generation instruments for this
observatory. In order to cover a field of view of approximately 30 arcmin, PANIC uses a mosaic of four 2k x 2k
HAWAII-2RG arrays from Teledyne. This document presents the preliminary results of the basic characterization of the
mosaic. The performance of the system as a whole, as well as the in-house readout electronics and software capabilities
will also be briefly discussed.
PANIC is the Panoramic Near Infrared Camera for the 2.2m and 3.5m telescopes at Calar Alto observatory. The aim of
the project is to build a wide-field general purpose NIR camera. In this paper we describe the software system of the
instrument, which comprises four main packages: GEIRS for the instrument control and the data acquisition; the
Observation Tool (OT), the software used for detailed definition and pre-planning the observations, developed in Java;
the Quick Look tool (PQL) for easy inspection of the data in real-time and a scientific pipeline (PAPI), both based on the
Python programming language.
PANIC is a wide-field NIR camera, which is currently under development for the Calar Alto observatory (CAHA) in
Spain. It uses a mosaic of four Hawaii-2RG detectors and covers the spectral range from 0.8-2.5 μm (z to K-band). The
field-of-view is 30×30 arcmin. This instrument can be used at the 2.2m telescope (0.45arcsec/pixel, 0.5×0.5 degree
FOV) and at the 3.5m telescope (0.23arcsec/pixel, 0.25×0.25 degree FOV).
The operating temperature is about 77K, achieved by liquid Nitrogen cooling. The cryogenic optics has three flat folding
mirrors with diameters up to 282 mm and nine lenses with diameters between 130 mm and 255 mm. A compact filter
unit can carry up to 19 filters distributed over four filter wheels. Narrow band (1%) filters can be used.
The instrument has a diameter of 1.1 m and it is about 1 m long. The weight limit of 400 kg at the 2.2m telescope
requires a light-weight cryostat design. The aluminium vacuum vessel and radiation shield have wall thicknesses of only
6 mm and 3 mm respectively.
The Sierra Nevada Observatory (Granada, Spain) has a number of telescopes. Our study will focus on two Nasmyth telescopes with apertures of 1.5m and 0.9m and an equatorial mount. The system currently installed to control these telescopes is a 1995 centralized VME module. However, given the problems which have arisen due to the number of wires and other complications, we have decided to change this control module. We will control each telescope with a distributed control philosophy, using a serial linear communication bus between independent nodes, although all system capabilities are accessible from a central unit anywhere and at any time via internet. We have divided the tasks and have one node for alpha control, another for delta control, one for the dome, one for the focus and the central unit to interface with a pc. The nodes for alpha, delta and the dome will be used by means of FPGA's in order to efficiently sample the encoders and the control algorithms, and to generate the output for the motors and the servo. The focus will have a microcontroller, and the system is easy to expand in the event of the inclusion of more nodes. After having studied several fieldbus systems, we have opted for the CAN bus, because of its reliability and broadcasting possibilities. In this way, all the important information will be on the bus, and every node will be able to access the information at any time. This document explains the new design made in the IAA for the new consoles of control whose basic characteristics are, the distributed control, the hardware simplify, the cable remove, the safety and maintenance improve and facilitating the observation improving the interface with the user, and finally to prepare the system for the remote observation.
The Observatorio de Sierra Nevada (OSN) is located at an altitude of 2800m at the Loma de Dilar in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, in the province of Granada, Spain. It is operated and maintained by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (IAA-CSIC) and contains two Nasmyth telescopes with apertures of 1.5 and 0.9m and an Altazimuth
telescope with an aperture of 0.6 m. Given that the quality of the images and, indeed, the performance of the instruments are influenced by weather conditions, it would appear that the existence of a weather station capable of producing accurate descriptions is an essential component of any observatory. This is particularly true, however, in our case where, given the altitude, weather conditions at certain times of the year are especially harsh. For this reason, our observatory has required the installation of a robust weather station with easily replaceable sensors which can provide accurate and reliable measures of wind, temperature and humidity. At the same time, in order to avoid a complex topology of unmanageably long wires due to the distribution of a large number of sensors around the buildings, domes telescope mirrors and instruments, it has been necessary to implement a distributed system with several independent nodes connected to a CAN bus. This system is now in operation and running automatically at the OSN and provides all the data from sensors to the observatory control systems and to internet users. This paper gives a detailed description of the SNOWS project, including the development of the weather station, the software and hardware architecture, and the use of distributed nodes with a linear serial bus. The paper also provides some results regarding the wind, temperature and humidity sensors employed at the OSN.