Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Navigating the Maze of Cameras & Sensors for Scientific Applications

e2v's CCD91-72s, which employs a 4.5 x 6.0 cm CCD, will help the European Space Agency's Gaia catalog one billion stars in our galaxy when it's launched in 2011.
Part of the Gaia CCD and Focal Plane Technology Demonstrators program, this back-illuminated, astrometric field demonstrator CCD-complete with flex circuit-in a custom-handling jig.
The SuperWASP-North observatory, part of the Wide Angle Search for Planets project, is located on the island of Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands.

By Lee J. Nelson
Contributing Editor

Commercial cameras and sensors comprise quite the heterogeneous set. A glance at Advanced Imaging's "Product Showcase" (December, 2006) reveals no less than 100 separate entries. Sorting through them can be a Herculean task. Let's take a closer look at select contributions with emphasis on scientific imaging for academic and research applications.

Andor Technology Plc (Belfast, Northern Ireland and South Windsor, Conn.) debuts iXonEM+ DU-888, one of the first megapixel electron-multiplying CCD arrays. With its 1024×1024 sensor, 13×13mm pixel and back-illuminated quantum efficiency greater than 90 percent, DU-888 offers a field-of-view, resolution and sensitivity that are ideal for low light level astronomy, bioluminescence, live cell imaging and microtiter plate reading.

As a central player to some exciting discoveries, Andor Technology's large-area thermoelectrically cooled cameras were selected by a team of English, French and Swiss astronomers from Queen's University Belfast. The researchers identified two new Jupiter-sized planets orbiting stars in the Andromeda and Delphinus constellations. Those planets were found late last year with data from the SuperWASP-North observatory (Wide Angle Search for Planets) and confirmed by radial velocity measurements using the SOPHIE spectrograph at L'Observatoire de Haute (Saint Michel, Alpes de Haute, France).

SuperWASP is the UK's extra-solar planet detection project that represents a consortium of institutions, including Cambridge University (UK), El Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands), the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (Santa Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands), Keele University's Astrophysics Group (Keele, Staffordshire, UK), Leicester University (Leicestershire, UK), the Open University (Milton Keynes, North Buckinghamshire, UK), Queen's University Belfast and the University of Saint Andrews (Fife, Scotland).

"We have worked with [the SuperWASP] team over the last few years... These systems are extremely wide field—2,000 times greater than a conventional telescope. The cameras continuously photograph the night sky, each camera capable of up to 50,000 stars per image," stated Mark Donaghy, Andor Technology's Marketing Manager.

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