A sophisticated imaging camera is being tested on Florida’s largest research telescope, the 0.8-m Ortega Telescope (http://research.fit.edu/ortegatelescope). The camera was purchased with a grant from the American Astronomical Society and a Florida Tech endowment match.
Called a Charge Injection Device (CID), the camera “has the potential to transform the future of observational astronomy,” said Daniel Batcheldor, physics and space science. The state-of-the-art CID is supplied by Thermo-Fisher Scientific in Liverpool, N.Y., and allows for adaptive pixel control. The CIDs have been used for other applications since the 1970s, but only very recently has pre-amplifier per-pixel architecture been applied to reduce noise levels to what astronomy requires.
As testing progresses, the camera will potentially be used to perform observations at larger observatories around the world and, possibly, in space.
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