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28 June 2016

e2v’s ultimate ground astronomy 1.2 Gigapixel camera subsystem passes customer’s factory acceptance test

e2v’s CryoCam, a unique 1.2 Gigapixel camera subsystem for the Javalambre Physics of the Accelerating Universe Astrophysical Survey (J-PAS) project has successfully passed another critical milestone. The completed factory acceptance test was witnessed by representatives of the Brazilian-Spanish consortium, Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón and Observatório Nacional, and enables the camera’s delivery to the J-PAS consortium.

This unique camera subsystem will be integrated into the novel 2.5m wide field ground based telescope in Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (OAJ), Aragon, Spain and will carry out a five year survey of the northern sky to build a high fidelity 3D map of the Universe and study dark energy. The camera has been expertly designed, assembled, integrated and tested by e2v. The exceptional flatness of the focal plane, combined with the e2v CryoCam’s outstanding low noise and fast readout rates, has resulted in a highly efficient instrument that will supply J-PAS scientists with an immense amount of accurate astrophysical information.

Camera’s key performance

  • Exceptional flatness and thermal and mechanical stability of the focal plane – 27μm peak to valley measured at -110 oC and room temperature, surpassing the customer’s requirement
  • 14 9k x 9k pixel format CCD 290-99 scientific image sensors, backthinned, with anti-reflection coating for maximum sensitivity
  • Fast read-out time – under 20 seconds
  • Extremely low noise – less than 5 e- at 400KHz, surpassing the customer’s requirement
  • Excellent cooling stability over long durations – better than +/- 1o C

Professor Renato Dupke, Principal Investigator of the Brazilian counterpart of J-PAS at the Observatório Nacional, said, “We are very happy with the development of e2v’s 1.2 Gpixel Cryogenic CCD camera for the J-PAS project. The subsystem is already achieving in-factory performances significantly beyond our original expectations. Tests are already suggesting an equivalent performance when the subsystem is fully integrated at the telescope. This will have a giant impact on a wide variety of fields in astronomy, in particular on the nature of dark energy.”

Giuseppe Borghi, Vice President of Business Development in Space Imaging at e2v, said, “We are delighted to have achieved this e2v CryoCam key milestone. Our strong in-house subsystem competence, coupled with our integrated supply chain, allows us to guarantee outstanding subsystem performance whilst minimising our customer’s telescope development and integration efforts. We plan to provide long-term post-delivery services throughout the camera’s entire life such as optimisation, maintenance and high-priority support. We are looking forward to seeing outstanding scientific discoveries enabled by J-PAS and the e2v team.”

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