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Proceedings Paper

CCD guidance system for the William Herschel Telescope
Author(s): David J. Thorne; Nicholas R. Waltham; Graham M. Newton; Ian G. van Breda; Martin Fisher; P. J. Rudd
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Paper Abstract

The CCD autoguider detector system for the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) comprises a Peltier cooled, slow-scan CCD camera supported by an MC68020-based VME computer for image processing. The detector is a fluorescent dye coated EEV P8603 CCD chip operated in frame transfer mode. The CCD controller enables a full image to be read out during acquisition, but with windowed readout during guiding so as to permit an increased frame rate. The windowing is controlled by the VME computer, which is also used to calculate the centroid of the guide star and provides a local user interface, displaying images and guider status information. Special attention has been paid to the CCD drive clocks and bias voltages, enabling a very low dark current to be achieved (2 electrons per pixel per second at -35 C) without the need for extreme cooling. Guiding to magnitude 19 on the WHT has been demonstrated during dark time, with an integration time of one second.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1990
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 1235, Instrumentation in Astronomy VII, (1 July 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.19106
Show Author Affiliations
David J. Thorne, British Telecom Research Labs. (United Kingdom)
Nicholas R. Waltham, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Graham M. Newton, Royal Greenwich Observatory (United Kingdom)
Ian G. van Breda, Royal Greenwich Observatory (United Kingdom)
Martin Fisher, Royal Greenwich Observatory (United Kingdom)
P. J. Rudd, Royal Greenwich Observatory (Spain)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1235:
Instrumentation in Astronomy VII
David L. Crawford, Editor(s)

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