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Proceedings Paper

Photon collider: a four-channel autoguider solution
Author(s): John C. Hygelund; Rachel Haynes; Ben Burleson; Benjamin J. Fulton
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Paper Abstract

The "Photon Collider" uses a compact array of four off axis autoguider cameras positioned with independent filtering and focus. The photon collider is two way symmetric and robustly mounted with the off axis light crossing the science field which allows the compact single frame construction to have extremely small relative deflections between guide and science CCDs. The photon collider provides four independent guiding signals with a total of 15 square arc minutes of sky coverage. These signals allow for simultaneous altitude, azimuth, field rotation and focus guiding. Guide cameras read out without exposure overhead increasing the tracking cadence. The independent focus allows the photon collider to maintain in focus guide stars when the main science camera is taking defocused exposures as well as track for telescope focus changes. Independent filters allow auto guiding in the science camera wavelength bandpass. The four cameras are controlled with a custom web services interface from a single Linux based industrial PC, and the autoguider mechanism and telemetry is built around a uCLinux based Analog Devices BlackFin embedded microprocessor. Off axis light is corrected with a custom meniscus correcting lens. Guide CCDs are cooled with ethylene glycol with an advanced leak detection system. The photon collider was built for use on Las Cumbres Observatory's 2 meter Faulks telescopes and currently used to guide the alt-az mount.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 July 2010
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 7742, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy IV, 77421F (16 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857761
Show Author Affiliations
John C. Hygelund, Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (United States)
Rachel Haynes, Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (United States)
Ben Burleson, Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (United States)
Benjamin J. Fulton, Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7742:
High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy IV
Andrew D. Holland; David A. Dorn, Editor(s)

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