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 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.
Large mosaic multiCCD camera is the key instrument for modern digital sky survey. DECam is an extremely
red sensitive 520 Megapixel camera designed for the incoming Dark Energy Survey (DES). It is consist of sixty
two 4k2k and twelve 2k2k 250-micron thick fully-depleted CCDs, with a focal plane of 44 cm in diameter and
a eld of view of 2.2 square degree. It will be attached to the Blanco 4-meter telescope at CTIO. The DES will
cover 5000 square-degrees of the southern galactic cap in 5 color bands (g, r, i, z, Y) in 5 years starting from
To achieve the science goal of constraining the Dark Energy evolution, stringent requirements are laid down
for the design of DECam. Among them, the
atness of the focal plane needs to be controlled within a 60-micron
envelope in order to achieve the specied PSF variation limit. It is very challenging to measure the
the focal plane to such precision when it is placed in a high vacuum dewar at 173 K. We developed two image
based techniques to measure the
atness of the focal plane. By imaging a regular grid of dots on the focal plane,
the CCD oset along the optical axis is converted to the variation the grid spacings at dierent positions on the
focal plane. After extracting the patterns and comparing the change in spacings, we can measure the
to high precision. In method 1, the regular dots are kept in high sub micron precision and cover the whole focal
plane. In method 2, no high precision for the grid is required. Instead, we use a precise XY stage moves the
pattern across the whole focal plane and comparing the variations of the spacing when it is imaged by dierent
CCDs. Simulation and real measurements show that the two methods work very well for our purpose, and are
in good agreement with the direct optical measurements.
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.
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.
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