Building a 1.2Gpixel telescope

July 21, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
Teledyne CCD image sensors make 1.2Gpixel telescope
An array of CCD image sensors from Teledyne e2v is capturing the first light image from the JPCam JST/T250 telescope developed by Spain's Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón

Teledyne has provided the complete 1.2 gigapixel camera that will build a three-dimensional map of the sky.

Teledyne e2v (Chelmsford, England), part of the Teledyne Imaging Group, has worked with Spain's Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón (CEFCA) and the Javalambre Astrophysical Observatory (OAJ) and the first light image from the telescope was of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), located 2.5 million light years away.

JPCam is the second-largest astronomical camera in the world and is designed to perform large sky surveys. The camera is made of 1200 million pixels distributed in a mosaic of 14 CCD290-99 image sensors that are designed to work in high vacuum conditions and at -110 ºC. It provides scientific image quality with high resolution across its wide field of view.

Teledyne e2v designed and provided the 1.2 gigapixel camera for JPCam, which consists of the focal plane array (FPA), the detector control electronics and the CCD290-99 image sensors along with the auxiliary CCD detectors for guiding and focusing JPCam. A key feature of the system is the FPA to be contained in a custom cryogenic cooler.

The camera will support the study of the nature of dark energy and the history of the expansion of the universe over the last 10.8 billion years, as well as inform scientists, astronomers and physicists about the formation and evolution of galaxies, the structure and history of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, or the systematic study of asteroids in our Solar System.

Antonio Marín-Franch, researcher at the Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón, Head of the OAJ, and Project Manager of JPCam, commented: "This is, no doubt, the greatest complexity of the telescope-camera system, since it has been designed to provide very good image quality in an enormous field of view."

Teledyne Imaging Group makes developments in healthcare, life sciences, space, transportation, defence and security and industrial markets.

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