Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World's Most Sensitive Astronomical Camera Developed

Date:
September 30, 2009
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
Physicists have developed the world's most sensitive astronomical camera. Marketed by Photon etc., a young Quebec firm, the camera will be used by the Mont-Megantic Observatory and NASA, which purchased the first unit.

Physicists have developed the world's most sensitive astronomical camera. Marketed by Photon etc., the camera will be used by the Mont-Megantic Observatory and NASA, which purchased the first unit.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Montreal

A team of Université de Montréal researchers, led by physics PhD student Olivier Daigle, has developed the world's most sensitive astronomical camera. Marketed by Photon etc., a young Quebec firm, the camera will be used by the Mont-Mégantic Observatory and NASA, which purchased the first unit.

Related Articles


The camera is made up of a CCD controller for counting photons; a digital imagery device that amplifies photons observed by astronomical cameras or by other instruments used in situations of very low luminosity. The controller produces 25 gigabytes of data per second.

Electric signals used to pilot the imagery chip are 500 times more precise than those of a conventional controller. This increased precision helps reduce noise that interferes with the weak signals coming from astronomical objects in the night sky. The controller allows to substantially increase the sensitivity of detectors, which can be compared to the mirror of the Mont-Mégantic telescope doubling its diameter.

"The first astronomical results are astounding and highlight the increased sensitivity acquired by the new controller," says Daigle. "The clarity of the images brings us so much closer to the stars that we are attempting to understand."

A thriving Quebec company Photon etc. developed a commercial version of the controller devised by Daigle and his team and integrated it in complete cameras. NASA was first to place an order for one of these cameras and was soon followed by a research group from the University of Sao Paulo, and by a European-Canadian consortium equipping a telescope in Chili. In addition, researchers in nuclear medicine, bioluminescence, Raman imaging and other fields requiring rapid imagery have expressed interest in purchasing the cameras.

Photon etc. is a Quebec research and development company that specializes in the manufacting of photonic measurement and analysis instruments. The company is growing rapidly after spending four years in the Université de Montréal and its affiliated École Polytechnique IT business incubator.

"The sensitivity of the cameras developed by the Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec (CRAQ) and Photon etc. will not only help us better understand the depths of the universe but also better perceive weak optical signals coming from the human body. These signals can reveal the early signs of several diseases such as macular degeneration and certain types of cancer. An early diagnostic leads to early intervention, hopefully before the disease becomes more serious thus saving lives and important costs," says Sébastien Blais-Ouellette, president of Photon etc.

Scientific results for the camera were recently featured in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, a prestigious instrumentation journal.

This research was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Natural Sciences And Engineering Research Council of Canada, Photon etc., the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "World's Most Sensitive Astronomical Camera Developed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929133125.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2009, September 30). World's Most Sensitive Astronomical Camera Developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929133125.htm
University of Montreal. "World's Most Sensitive Astronomical Camera Developed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929133125.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins