CHELMSFORD, England, 14 Dec. 2011. European astronomers needed a cryogenic camera system for the Javalambre Astronomical Observatory, near Teruel, Spain. They found their solution from e2v Technologies plc in Chelmsford, England. A 2.5-meter telescope at the Javalambre Astronomical Observatory is helping astronomers conduct a five-year survey of the northern sky as part of the Javalambre Physics-of-the-Accelerating-Universe Astrophysical Survey (J-PAS) project.
Electro-optical experts at e2v won a multi-million dollar contract. The e2v cryogenic camera has a 1.2 gigapixel mosaic array that can be read out in 10 seconds, and produces high fidelity images in low-resolution spectra.
The J-PAS project, with funding from a consortium of Spanish and Brazilian astronomy institutes, seeks to create a map of the observable Universe in 56 continuous wavebands from 350 to 1000 nanometers. The project will explore dark energy through measuring galaxy distribution in three dimensions.
The e2v gigapixel camera for J-PAS will use 14 CCD290-99 imaging sensors. The 85 megapixel devices will be back-thinned and given a multi-layer, anti-reflection coating. The camera assembles images into a mosaic to provide an image area nearly half a meter in diameter.
The camera has vacuum and cooling components and integrated electronics, for which e2v is working with RAL Space in Harwell, England.