<p>We outline the design of a test stand for characterization of optical sensors intended for use in astronomical applications, and we report the current state of the setup. Once completed, the system will be capable of measuring the performance of charge-coupled devices, complementary metaloxidesemiconductor, and prospective new sensors or cameras equipped with such sensors. The setup vacuum chamber will provide a stable environment for the device under test and allow for cooling down to cryogenic temperatures. The optical system will provide flexibility for the illumination of the sensor—the wavelength and duration can be precisely controlled; flat-field, spot, or patterns can by applied.</p>
We present the design of a MegaTORTORA telescope (and its prototype, mini-MegaTORTORA, presently in
construction at Special Astrophysical Observatory) - modular, multi-purpose, scalable grid of optical cameras
based on commercially available objectives and fast CCDs, able to operate with sub-second temporal resolution
in both wide-field monitoring regime with all objectives observing different regions of the sky as well as in
narrow-field follow-up mode with co-aligned channels and installed color and polarimetric filters for detailed
investigation of selected objects, and to change the regime of operation on a sub-second time scale.
The Position-Sensitive Detector (PSD) on base of GaAs photocathode and microchannel plate set has been
developed. PSD consists of thick semiconductor photocathode with quantum efficiency about 48% in the range
of 4000-8000AA, two microchannel plates, and 16-electrode collector. The detector has spatial resolution of 20-30
microns for about 5 • 10<sup>5</sup> pixels, time resolution of 1 us and effective sensitivity up to 40%.
To study short stochastic optical flares of different objects (GRBs, SNs, etc) of unknown localizations as well
as NEOs it is necessary to monitor large regions of sky with high time resolution. We developed a system
which consists of wide-field camera (FOW is 400-600 sq.deg.) using TV-CCD with time resolution of 0.13 s
to record and classify optical transients, and a fast robotic telescope aimed to perform their spectroscopic and
photometric investigation just after detection. Such two telescope complex TORTOREM combining wide-field
camera TORTORA and robotic telescope REM operated from May 2006 at La Silla ESO observatory. Some
results of its operation, including first fast time resolution study of optical transient accompanying GRB and
discovery of its fine time structure, are presented. Prospects for improving the complex efficiency are given.