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Magnet Photo

The Dark Energy Survey Camera (DECam)

Abstract: The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is a next generation optical survey aimed at understanding the expansion rate of the universe using four complementary methods: weak gravitational lensing, galaxy cluster counts, baryon acoustic oscillations, and Type Ia supernovae. To perform the survey, the DES Collaboration is building the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), a 3 square degree, 520 Megapixel CCD camera which will be mounted at the prime focus of the Blanco 4-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. The survey will cover 5000 square-degrees of the southern galactic cap with 5 filters (g, r, i, z, Y). DECam will be comprised of 74 250 micron thick fully depleted CCDs: 62 2k x 4k CCDs for imaging and 12 2k x 2k CCDs for guiding and focus. DECam will be used to perform the Dark Energy Survey with 30% of the telescope time over a 5 year period. During the remainder of the time, and after the survey, DECam will be available as a community instrument. In order to verify that the camera meets technical specifications for the Dark Energy Survey and to reduce the time required to commission the instrument on the telescope, we constructed a full sized “Telescope Simulator” and performed system tests at Fermilab. These tests finished in Feb. 2011 and many parts have already been shipped to Chile. An overview of how the DECam technical requirements were developed from the science goals and our experiences during the construction and testing phases of the project will be described.
Speaker: Brenna Flaugher - Fermi
Speaker Bio: Brenna Flaugher is a scientist in the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory., a DOE-funded facility that performs research on high-energy physics and the science of matter, space and time. She received her undergraduate degree in Physics from Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine and her PhD from Rutgers, the State University of the New Jersey in the study of the production of jets in proton –antiproton collisions at Fermilab as a member of the CDF Collaboration. She participated in and led the construction of silicon strip vertex detectors for high energy physics projects. In 2003 she participated in the formation of a new project to study the nature of dark energy, The Dark Energy Survey. Since 2004 she has been project manager for the construction of the 570 Mpixel digital camera, DECam, that will be used for the Dark Energy Survey.
Poster Link: Poster