The Dark Energy Camera is a new imager with a 2.2-degree diameter field of view mounted at the prime focus of the Victor M. Blanco 4-meter telescope on Cerro Tololo near La Serena, Chile. The camera was designed and constructed by the Dark Energy Survey Collaboration, and meets or exceeds the stringent requirements designed for the wide-field and supernova surveys for which the collaboration uses it. The camera consists of a five element optical corrector, seven filters, a shutter with a 60 cm aperture, and a CCD focal plane of 250 micron thick fully-depleted CCDs cooled inside a vacuum Dewar. The 570 Mpixel focal plane comprises 62 2kx4k CCDs for imaging and 12 2kx2k CCDs for guiding and focus. The CCDs have 15 microns x15 microns pixels with a plate scale of 0.263 arc sec per pixel. A hexapod system provides state-of-the-art focus and alignment capability. The camera is read out in 20 seconds with 6-9 electrons readout noise. This paper provides a technical description of the camera's engineering, construction, installation, and current status.
|Journal||The Astronomical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 19 Oct 2015|
- cosmology: observations
- instrumentation: detectors
- instrumentation: photometers