Interface boards support multiple cameras, astronomy applications

FEBRUARY 19, 2009--Current-generation imaging electronics are large, heavy, and dissipate a lot of power.

Feb 19th, 2009

FEBRUARY 19, 2009--Current-generation imaging electronics are large, heavy, and dissipate a lot of power. These drawbacks are becoming ever more important, particularly for widefield instrumentation using mosaicked detector arrays. Now, Karl Wagner and his colleagues at the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Heidelberg, Germany) have developed new visual and IR electronic read-out systems aimed at implementation in astronomical and other types of cameras. The modular design allows configuration of the electronics for a range of currently available IR detectors and CCDs. The new read-out concept can be applied to single or multiple detector systems with up to 144 input channels. The high data-transfer rate, small size (33 x13 x 31 cm), and low heat dissipation make these electronics useful in relatively large focal-plane detector arrays. The first instrument employing the new system is the Panoramic Near-Infrared Camera (PANIC) at the 2.20-m (diameter) telescope at Calar Alto Observatory in Spain. For more information, go to: http://spie.org/x31110.xml?ArticleID=x31110

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