Sep 25, 2013
ArTeMis, a new camera for the APEX telescope
Contact : Eric Ercolani

The APEX Telescope during the winter measurement campaign (© ESO)

A new photonic camera has been developed in the framework of the ArTéMis project (Bolometers architecture for large field of view ground based telescopes in the sub-millimeter). This camera scans the sky in the sub-millimeter range at simultaneously three different wavelengths, namely 200, 350, 450μm, and is installed inside the APEX telescope located at 5100m above sea level in Chile.



The image shows orange-red light detected by ArTéMis which corresponds to the emission of 0.35 mm dense clouds of interstellar dust grains. It is superimposed on a near-infrared image of the same region previously observed by the VISTA telescope at Mount Paranal. © ArTeMiS team/ESO
(Thanks to Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit)

Bolometric detectors cooled to 300 mK are used in the camera, which is integrated in an original cryostat developed at the low temperature laboratory (SBT) of the INAC institut. This cryostat features flters, optics, mirrors and detectors which had to be implemented following mass, size and stiffness requirements. As a result the cryostat exhibits an unusual geometry. The cryogenic chain features a pulse tube cooler coupled to a helium sorption cooler. The position of each components has been precisely set so that, once cold, a permanent optical alignment is obtained between the bolometers and the telescope focus.


This seven years project was carried out in collaboration with the Astrophysics laboratory SAp of the IRFU institut. The camera was thermally tested in the laboratory and delivered to SAp in June 2012,  to be equipped with different components. SAp and SBT have installed the camera early July 2013 in Chile. Preliminary interesting results have already been obtained: this new instrument has delivered a dramatic and very detailed view of the Nebula Cat's Paw.



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