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Proceedings Paper

FastCam: a new lucky imaging instrument for medium-sized telescopes
Author(s): Alejandro Oscoz; Rafael Rebolo; Roberto López; Antonio Pérez-Garrido; Jorge Andrés Pérez; Sergi Hildebrandt; Luis Fernando Rodríguez; Juan José Piqueras; Isidro Villó; José Miguel González; Rafael Barrena; Gabriel Gómez; Aníbal García; Pilar Montañés; Alfred Rosenberg; Emilio Cadavid; Ariadna Calcines; Anastasio Díaz-Sánchez; Ralf Kohley; Yolanda Martín; José Peñate; Vicente Sánchez
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Paper Abstract

FastCam is an instrument jointly developed by the Spanish Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena designed to obtain high spatial resolution images in the optical wavelength range from ground-based telescopes. The instrument consists of a very low noise and very fast readout speed EMCCD camera capable of reaching the diffraction limit of medium-sized telescopes from 500 to 850 nm. FastCam incorporates a FPGAs-based device to save and evaluate those images minimally disturbed by atmospheric turbulence in real time. The undisturbed images represent a small fraction of the observations. Therefore, a special software package has been developed to extract, from cubes of tens of thousands of images, those with better quality than a given level. This is done in parallel with the data acquisition at the telescope. After the first tests in the laboratory, FastCam has been successfully tested in three telescopes: the 1.52-meter TCS (Teide Observatory), the 2.5-meter NOT, and the 4.2-meter WHT (Roque de los Muchachos Observatory). The theoretical diffraction limit of each telescope has been reached in the I band (850 nm) -0.15, 0.08 and 0.05 arcsec, respectively-, and similar resolutions have been also obtained in the V and R bands. Future work will include the development of a new instrument for the 10.4-meter GTC telescope on La Palma.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 701447 (11 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788834
Show Author Affiliations
Alejandro Oscoz, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Rafael Rebolo, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Roberto López, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Antonio Pérez-Garrido, Univ. Politécnica de Cartagena (Spain)
Jorge Andrés Pérez, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Sergi Hildebrandt, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Luis Fernando Rodríguez, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Juan José Piqueras, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Isidro Villó, Univ. Politécnica de Cartagena (Spain)
José Miguel González, Gran Telescopio Canarias (Spain)
Rafael Barrena, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Gabriel Gómez, Gran Telescopio Canarias (Spain)
Aníbal García, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Pilar Montañés, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Alfred Rosenberg, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Emilio Cadavid, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Ariadna Calcines, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Anastasio Díaz-Sánchez, Univ. Politécnica de Cartagena (Spain)
Ralf Kohley, Gran Telescopio Canarias (Spain)
Yolanda Martín, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
José Peñate, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Vicente Sánchez, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7014:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
Ian S. McLean; Mark M. Casali, Editor(s)

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