World’s most sensitive astronomical camera developed
The camera comprises a CCD controller for photon counting, a digital imaging device that amplifies photons observed by astronomy cameras or other equipment used in low light situations. The controller produces 25 gigabytes of data per second.
The electrical signals used to test the imaging chip is 500 times more accurate than a conventional controller. This increased accuracy helps reduce the noise that interferes with the weak signals from astronomical objects in the night sky. The controller can substantially increase the sensitivity of the detectors, which can be compared with the mirror of the telescope at Mont-Mégantic double its diameter.
“The first astronomical results are striking and highlight the increased sensitivity gained by the driver again,” said Daigle. “The clarity of the images brings us much closer to the stars we’re trying to understand.”
Photon etc. developed a commercial version of the controller designed by Daigle and his team and integrated it fully into the chambers. NASA was the first to order one of these cameras, and was soon followed by a research group at the University of Sao Paulo, and a Canadian-European consortium equip a telescope in Chile. In addition, researchers in nuclear medicine, bioluminescence, Raman imaging and other fields that require fast images have expressed interest in buying the cameras.
Photon, etc. is a Quebec research and development company that specializes in measuring photonic manufacting and analysis tools. The company is growing rapidly, after spending four years at the University of Montreal and its affiliates Ecole Polytechnique IT incubator.
“The sensitivity of the cameras developed by the Center for Astrophysical Research in Quebec (CRAQ) and photons, etc. not only helps us better understand the depths of the universe, but also better perceive weak optical signals from the human body. These signals may reveal early signs of various diseases such as macular degeneration and certain types of cancer. An early diagnosis leads to early intervention, hopefully before the disease becomes more severe the subsequent saving of lives and significant costs, “says Sébastien Blais -Ouellette, president of Photon etc.
The scientific results of the chamber were recently featured in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, a prestigious journal instrumentation.