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Proceedings Paper

HiPERCAM: a high-speed quintuple-beam CCD camera for the study of rapid variability in the universe
Author(s): Vikram S. Dhillon; Thomas R. Marsh; Naidu Bezawada; Martin Black; Simon Dixon; Trevor Gamble; David Henry; Paul Kerry; Stuart Littlefair; David W. Lunney; Timothy Morris; James Osborn; Richard W. Wilson
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Paper Abstract

HiPERCAM is a high-speed camera for the study of rapid variability in the Universe. The project is funded by a Ɛ3.5M European Research Council Advanced Grant. HiPERCAM builds on the success of our previous instrument, ULTRACAM, with very significant improvements in performance thanks to the use of the latest technologies. HiPERCAM will use 4 dichroic beamsplitters to image simultaneously in 5 optical channels covering the u’g’r’I’z’ bands. Frame rates of over 1000 per second will be achievable using an ESO CCD controller (NGC), with every frame GPS timestamped. The detectors are custom-made, frame-transfer CCDs from e2v, with 4 low noise (2.5e-) outputs, mounted in small thermoelectrically-cooled heads operated at 180 K, resulting in virtually no dark current. The two reddest CCDs will be deep-depletion devices with anti-etaloning, providing high quantum efficiencies across the red part of the spectrum with no fringing. The instrument will also incorporate scintillation noise correction via the conjugate-plane photometry technique. The opto-mechanical chassis will make use of additive manufacturing techniques in metal to make a light-weight, rigid and temperature-invariant structure. First light is expected on the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope on La Palma in 2017 (on which the field of view will be 10' with a 0.3"/pixel scale), with subsequent use planned on the 10.4m Gran Telescopio Canarias on La Palma (on which the field of view will be 4' with a 0.11"/pixel scale) and the 3.5m New Technology Telescope in Chile.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 August 2016
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9908, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, 99080Y (9 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2229055
Show Author Affiliations
Vikram S. Dhillon, The Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain)
Thomas R. Marsh, The Univ. of Warwick (United Kingdom)
Naidu Bezawada, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Martin Black, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Simon Dixon, The Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
Trevor Gamble, The Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
David Henry, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Paul Kerry, The Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
Stuart Littlefair, The Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
David W. Lunney, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Timothy Morris, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
James Osborn, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
Richard W. Wilson, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9908:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI
Christopher J. Evans; Luc Simard; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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