AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 102. Instrumentation for the Optical and Infrared
Display, Wednesday, January 9, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[102.03] Wide-field Astronomy Projects at the UKATC

T.G. Hawarden, M.M. Casali, W.S. Holland, R.J. Ivison, G.S Wright (UK ATC)

The UK Astronomy Technology Centre is engaged on a number of projects which are defining the stare of the art in several areas of wide-field astronomy.

The most advanced of these will equip the UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) with a wide-field NIR (1 - 2.5 um) imager, WFCAM, in 2003. WFCAM will use 4 2k-square HgCdTe arrays to cover 0.19 square degrees in a single exposure. It will have 0."4 pixels and will employ multiple exposures (16 in the basic case) and microstepping to obtain full sampling of the PSF. WFCAM will reach K=19.4 at 5 sigma over 1 sq. deg. in 1 hour. Several deep surveys are planned; details are at http://www.roe.ac.uk/atc/projects/wfcam/science/. The project is in collaboration with the SUBARU telescope of the National Astronomy Observatory of Japan. Major data centres and archives will be established within the UK widefield astronomy groups and at SUBARU.

SCUBA, on the JCMT, is currently the most-cited facility in Astronomy after the HST. Plans and technology development are well advanced for its replacement, SCUBA-2. This ambitious instrument is also an imager working at 450 and 850 um, but with greatly enlarged FOV and improved sensitivity. Technical developments at the NIST, Boulder, Co. are aimed at producing 2 6400-pixel arrays of Transition Edge Sensors, covering 8' x 8', with a system NEFD of 30mJy at 850 and 100 mJy at 450um. The 850 um FOV will be fully sampled; the 450 um FOV will be 2X undersampled. SCUBA-2 will be able to make a confusion-limited survey of 1 \deg2 of sky in just 24 hours of observing; indeed it will map large areas of sky up to an order of magnitude faster than ALMA in compact mode; it will make major new contributions to all areas of astronomy, from the solar system to Z=10 galaxies.

Lastly, designs are well advanced for a powerful multiple cryogenic Integral Field spectroscopic facility. The design is well suited to VLTs or ELTs and will employ up to 8 unit spectrometers, each with a 2k2 array fed by four cryogenic deployable optical feed arms. These use a simple design to maintain a constant optical path length while placing the input apertures for the Integral Field Units anywhere in a 10' field of view.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.roe.ac.uk/atc/projects/wfcam/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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