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FastCam is an instrument developed by the IAC and the UPCT to obtain extremely high temporal and spatial resolution images in the optical wavelength range from ground-based telescopes. The instrument consists of a very low level noise and very fast readout speed L3CCD camera that allows reaching the diffraction limit in I band (850 nm) with medium-sized telescopes. FastCam incorporates our own special software package to analyze series of tens of thousands of images in parallel with the data acquisition at the telescope. FastCam has been tested in three telescopes: 1.52mTCS (OT) and 2.5m NOT and 4.2m WHT (ORM). In the three cases the theoretical limit of each telescope resolution has been obtained for I band (850 nm) -0.17, 0.10 and 0.07 arcsec, respectively- with similar resolutions in V and R bands. FastCam is a TCS’ common user instrument since September 2008.
Principal investigator
Project manager
Project staff
Sergi Hildebrandt
Ariadna Calcines
Juan José Piqueras Meseguer
Yolanda Martín
José Miguel González Pérez
Antonio Pérez Garrido - Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena
Anastasio Díaz Sánchez - Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena
Isidro Villó Pérez - Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena
Recent developments: Arrival, integration, tests and installation of the new optomechanics, which has brought strength and precision to the instrument. New version of the user interface, fully renovated, together with the new 8Gb PC to display and on-line reduce the data. Development of new routines to reduce the data from wavelets analysis to minimize the wings of the stars and so to detect extremely closed objects. Additional refrigeration with a closed cycled to stabilize and decrease even more the temperature. Other instruments One of them is a Wide Field FastCam, with a 1k x 1k camera and different optics offering a FOV of~12 arcmin, at the expense of increasing the pixel size to 0.6”/px. It has been installed many times at the TCS. Two other FastCam have been developed: FC for the WHT, used together with the WHT’s adaptive optics and FC for the NOT. Now, this project can simultaneously observe with TCS, NOT and WHT. Results The use of FastCam@TCS and FastCam@NOT by the astronomers is growing each semester. The first refereed papers with data taken with FastCam has recently appeared, besides of several contributions to meetings Future work Some details are still needed to complete FastCam: A new and more powerful PC to take and reduce the data Covers for the optomechanics A system to check that the field being observed is the desired To improve the user interface and its software To made and install an ADC To be able to observe in the whole optical range, for which the TCS’ guiding system should be modified. Regarding the other instruments: To verify if the Wide Field FastCam must be a common user instrument for the TCS To complete the FastCam for the NOT Advances in AOLI for WHT.

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