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R. Schindler (SLAC), LSST Camera Team
The LSST Camera will be the largest and most complex digital camera ever built. Unlike previous instruments, its design is fully integrated with the optics and mechanics of the telescope to optimally address the science mission. The ~1.6m diameter, ~3.4 ton camera body contains three large refractive optical elements, a carousel of five color filters with an auto-change mechanism, possible provision for a 6th filter, and a large aperture mechanical shutter. These elements lie outside the vacuum vessel (cryostat) housing the 0.64m diameter focal plane array. The focal plane array is comprised of >200 CCD or CMOS sensors operating at 170\circ K in addition to an array of embedded wave front and guide sensors.
The design of a camera meeting the LSST science requirements poses numerous technical challenges for the thermal and vacuum design. In particular, the need for fast (~2 s) image readout implies a high degree of parallelism that demands a complex high density packaging of front end and digitizing electronics that must be located largely within the cryostat. Control of the thermal uniformity across each sensor (for uniform QE) in the presence of environmental radiation and a large electronics heat load, while maintaining a contamination free environment within the cryostat, poses a significant challenge in thermal and vacuum engineering.
This poster addresses our present conceptual design of the camera and ongoing work to develop and test the critical mechanical, thermal and vacuum design elements. Assembly and metrological issues are also presented.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.