This project started with a full inspection and evaluation of each system component. Considering our client’s need to replace the detector subsystem with new components while retaining as much of the existing camera as possible, we worked collaboratively to retrofit the system with a new array at a lower cost than purchasing an entirely new IR camera system.
We were uniquely qualified to retrofit the existing system in three areas:
- Knowledge of the original system and application
- Our successful track record designing and installing Teledyne detectors with AstroBlank Scientific detector electronics
- Expertise in application software for detector readouts
The new detector array will be mounted at the same focal location with no changes needed to focus and center the optics onto the array. After removing the destroyed Hawaii-I array, the mount, fan-out board, and cabling are being modified to accept the H1RG MCT array with a SIDECAR™ cryogenic application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and warm AstroBlank Scientific MACIE read-out electronics.
These components will replace the previous detector fan-out board and external preamp:
- New H1RG detector will internally connect to the cooled ASIC using a 4-inch ribbon cable.
- New ASIC electronics card will mount behind the existing cold plate, preventing thermal background noise from the ASIC reaching the detector.
- Room-temperature MACIE read-out electronics will be mounted outside the camera vacuum case and will be connected to the cold internal ASIC with a 15-inch ribbon cable
- The mounting location of the MACIE electronics will be similar to the mounting of the original preamp.
- Communication from the read-out electronics to the host computer will be either CameraLink or USB
We will supply a computer with the selected CameraLink or USB camera interface, Teledyne user software, and a configured copy of our own AIRIS software. Both software packages can control the camera and collect and process image data. The AIRIS software will be set up and ready to run out of the box to provide an easy and intuitive tool for collecting image data. The Teledyne software will be helpful for system development and integrating the detector control in Kagoshima’s astronomical imaging software.
In the tradition of our founder, Dr. Frank Low, the “the father of infrared astronomy”, we are proud to continue to advance IR astronomy in projects worldwide. While this project presented unique challenges due to the age and damage to the system, our retrofitted solution will enable Kagoshima to achieve its performance and budget requirements.