George Jacoby, for the Mosaic Upgrade Team
NOAO is currently upgrading the hardware on the Kitt Peak Mosaic CCD imager to improve the performance and reliability of the system. Significant hardware changes were made to the four controllers to read each of the eight CCDs from two amplifiers (16-channel mode) instead of only one amplifier (8-channel mode). This would reduce the readout time by 40%. Unfortunately, two of the CCDs have secondary amplifiers that do not perform adequately and, because the readout rate is limited by the slowest CCD, we must continue to work in the slower 8-channel mode.
In addition, the power supplies on the four Arcon controllers have been replaced to enhance their rated output. This change will improve the longevity of the supplies and allow for better stabilized thermal control of the CCDs.
As an improvement to our operations, bar codes are being added to the edges of each optical filter to identify them uniquely. As each filter is loaded into the filter track, its code will be scanned and sent to the acquisition computer to verify that the proper filter is loaded in the desired track position, and to eliminate typing the special filter ID that is needed for subsequent processing.
A new version of the manual should be available, by the time you read this article, from the Mosaic Web page (http://www.noao.edu/kpno/mosaic).
In closing, after six years with the NOAO Mosaic project, I will be taking on a different set of responsibilities in mid-September. Effective with this last newsletter article from me, Buell Jannuzi will assume the duties of the Kitt Peak Mosaic scientist. You can reach Buell at email@example.com, or by phone at 1-520-318-8353.
The NOAO Mosaic Upgrade Team consists of Marco Bonati, Bill Ditsler, Dave Dryden, Mike Fitzpatrick, Buell Jannuzi, Bob Marshall, Rich Reed, Roger Smith, Doug Tody, Frank Valdes, and Tom Wolfe.
Caption: The KPNO Mosaic CCD camera is used for a variety of wide-field galactic and extra-galactic research and surveys. This 0.8 x 1 degree Mosaic image of the Virgo Cluster, including the giant S0 galaxy, M86, and the giant elliptical, M84, was taken by George Jacoby with the KPNO 0.9-m telescope.