Andor Technology Ltd
Professor Mihalis Mathioudakis
Development of large-format, high-cadence sCMOS cameras with Andor Technology
Scientific innovation is linked to technological breakthroughs. As standard commercially available camera equipment was unable to deliver the scientific objectives of our research, we teamed with Andor Technology to develop a new breed of high-cadence scientific Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (sCMOS) equipment. The key researchers involved from QUB are Prof Mihalis Mathioudakis, Dr Aaron Reid, Prof Francis Keenan and Dr Dave Jess.
Caption: First-light image of the solar photosphere taken by DKIST. The image has been
obtained using the sCMOS camera developed by the QUB led UK consortium
(image credit: NSO/NSF/AURA)
The motivation for the development of these cameras emanated from the scientific specifications of $500 million NSF funded Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST). QUB leads a UK-DKIST research consortium to supply these new-generation sCMOS cameras to DKIST. The cameras will equip the 4 DKIST instruments in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The key scientific advances that will be offered by DKIST, equipped with our cameras, will be in the areas of solar magnetism with emphasis on the study of highly dynamic solar processes and phenomena on small spatial (25 km) and temporal (msec) scales. The first-light DKIST images were obtained with our cameras and made public on January 29 2020.
The technology that we developed as part of this project has wider applications including near-earth object detection, speckle interferometry, lucky astronomy and other projects related to high-time resolution astrophysics. Outside astronomy, the camera can be adapted for high-speed X-ray applications. Our collaboration with Andor has allowed UK industry to maintain a leading position in the high-tech market, open new technological markets and provide growth and diversity in existing markets.
Grant funding to QUB related to this project
Science and Technology Facilities Council – £2.0 million
National Solar Observatory/NSF – £150,000
Armagh Observatory – £100,000
Northumbria University – £100,000
University of Glasgow – £50,000
University of Sheffield – £150,000
University of St Andrews – £100,000
University of Warwick – £100,000
EU – H2020 – £50,000
Andor Technology, National Solar Observatory USA, Armagh Observatory, Northumbria University, University College London/Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University of Glasgow, University of Sheffield, University of St Andrews, University of Warwick