A Powerful Metrology Camera ASIAA designed for Subaru Telescope has arrived in Hawaii

(ASIAA & Kavli IPMU Jointly Released on April 27, 2018)

An instrument that will help astronomers study dark matter and galaxies in detail has begun to be assembled at the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.

Developed by ASIAA, the Metrology Camera is the first of several sub-components currently under construction worldwide to be assembled at its final destination in order to create the Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS). When the PFS is mounted on the Subaru Telescope, it will be able to measure spectra of up to 2400 celestial objects in the night sky all at once. This is important because it will help astronomers understand how the distribution and movement of stars and galaxies are affected by the presence of dark matter. Studying millions of stars and galaxies across large areas of sky will therefore help create a dark matter map of our Universe.

The ASIAA Project Principle Investigator Dr. Shiang-yu Wang says: "Our OIR lab has been working on the PFS Project from 2012, thanks to the hard working of the team, the Metrolgoy Camera is able to measure all the PFS fiber positions to the accuracy of 3 microns within 5 sec. Moreover, the delivery of the first PFS subsystem also sees an important milestone for the entire international collaboration," in which ASIAA has been in charged of the Metrology Camera and responsible for the PFS System integration and testing.

Summary of PFS, including the Metrology Camera (Credit:PFS Project/NAOJ)

Group photo of the OIR Team

(Image: PFS Project/ ASIAA)

Metrology Camera at the center of the metallic frames (Credit: PFS Project)

The camera shipped from ASIAA Taiwan has arrived in Hawaii last Friday (April 20th. ). After checks to make sure the Metrology Camera is not damaged during transportation, the camera will be shipped to the Subaru Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea for further tests in the telescope’s dome in May, and on the telescope in June and July. Other subcomponents will then follow, and the PFS will be completed.

Led by the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU), the PFS project is an international collaboration to conduct an unprecedented census of the Universe, taking advantage of the Subaru Telescope to take a wide shot of the night sky with great depth. Combining data from the PFS and Hyper Suprime-Cam, astronomers hope to learn more about the nature of dark matter, dark energy, galaxy growth history, and challenge our understanding of the Universe and underlying physics.

In the current schedule, the PFS is anticipated to start its experimental run at the Subaru Telescope in 2019, before starting a formal survey in 2021.

Metrology Camera in containers arrived at the MCS lab of Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. (Credit: PFS Project/NAOJ)

CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensor used in the Metrology Camera (Credit: PFS Project)