One cool camera—LSST's cryostat assembly completed

August 3, 2018 by Andy Freeberg & Farrin Abbott, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
One cool camera: LSST’s cryostat assembly completed
The cryostat provides the optical bench (a silicon carbide grid) which keeps the large 65cm diameter focal plane - composed of 189 CCD imaging sensors - flat to within just a tenth of the width of a human hair, while simultaneously cooling them uniformly to minus 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It also provides cooling for their readout electronics which reside just behind the focal plane. And finally, it maintains all this hardware in a clean, contaminant-free, high-vacuum environment. Credit: Andy Freeberg/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Work on the camera for the future Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) has reached a major milestone with the completion and delivery of the camera's fully integrated cryostat. With 3.2 gigapixels, the LSST camera will be the largest digital camera ever built for ground-based astronomy. It's being assembled at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

The cryostat provides the optical bench—a silicon carbide grid—that keeps the large focal plane, which is 65 centimeters in diameter and composed of 189 CCD imaging sensors, flat to within just a tenth of the width of a human hair, while uniformly cooling it to minus 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It also provides cooling (to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit) for the sensors' readout electronics, which reside just behind the focal plane. And finally it maintains all this hardware in a clean, contaminant-free, high-vacuum environment.

With the LSST camera, scientists will be able to capture images of the entire Southern sky every few days for a period of 10 years, which will produce petabytes of unprecedented astrophysical data.

The is now located in LSST's primary clean room at SLAC, where it's undergoing vacuum testing. The entire is scheduled to be shipped to its final home on a mountaintop in Chile in 2020.

This video highlights recent work on the LSST cryostat. Credit: Farrin Abbott/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Credit: Andy Freeberg/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
One cool camera: LSST’s cryostat assembly completed
Credit: Andy Freeberg/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Explore further: Major milestone for Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project

Related Stories

Major milestone for Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project

June 27, 2017

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have completed the first "science raft" for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a massive telescope designed to capture images of ...

A Game of Tolerances

July 11, 2007

Contamination is the enemy for Large Synoptic Survey Telescope collaborators Rafe Schindler and a team of SLAC scientists and technicians working in Light Assembly Building 33. The clean room, which requires shoe covers, ...

World's most powerful camera receives funding approval

January 9, 2015

Plans for the construction of the world's largest digital camera at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have reached a major milestone. The 3,200-megapixel centerpiece of the Large Synoptic Survey ...

Recommended for you

Periodic radio signal detected from the blazar J1043+2408

December 12, 2018

Using Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO), astronomers have detected a periodic signal in the radio light curve of the blazar J1043+2408, which could be helpful in improving our understanding about the nature of blazars ...

Rosetta witnesses birth of baby bow shock around comet

December 12, 2018

A new study reveals that, contrary to first impressions, Rosetta did detect signs of an infant bow shock at the comet it explored for two years – the first ever seen forming anywhere in the solar system.

The epoch of planet formation, times twenty

December 12, 2018

Astronomers have cataloged nearly 4,000 exoplanets in orbit around distant stars. Though the discovery of these newfound worlds has taught us much, there is still a great deal we do not know about the birth of planets and ...

Juno mission halfway to Jupiter science

December 12, 2018

On Dec. 21, at 8:49:48 a.m. PST (11:49:48 a.m. EST) NASA's Juno spacecraft will be 3,140 miles (5,053 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops and hurtling by at a healthy clip of 128,802 mph (207,287 kilometers per hour). ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.