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.

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 July 22, 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 July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) — The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) — President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) — Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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