The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory of the US Department of Energy has unveiled the world’s largest digital camera. This astronomical digital camera is 1.65 meters tall and has a resolution of 3.2 billion pixels.
At the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, technicians are completing work on the world’s largest digital camera. The camera will be shipped to Chile and installed on a telescope in the Andes, where over the next 10 years it will participate in the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) programme, building an astronomical treasure trove of images of some 20 billion galaxies. Although the camera is not yet complete, all its mechanical parts have now been assembled in a frame for the first time.
The LSST camera is a digital camera that works similarly to other digital cameras, but is much larger. With the help of its 189 sensors, it can capture light from stars and other objects and convert it into electrical signals. With each sensor measuring around 16 mm, the camera has a total of 3.2 billion pixels and can capture dust particles from the Moon. Its largest lens, at 1.57 meters in diameter, is the largest of its kind ever made.
Vincent Riot, project manager for the LSST camera, said that the camera’s sensors were extremely expensive to manufacture and any misalignment could easily damage them.
This year the camera will also have one final upgrade: a modern cooling system will be installed. The camera will then be completed and ready for final testing before being shipped to Chile in May 2023.
“The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is an astronomical observatory currently under construction in Chile, whose main task is to carry out simultaneous astronomical surveys, also known as “space-time heritage surveys”, at an altitude of 2,682 meters above sea level in the Coquimbo region of northern Chile. It is located on the peak of El Peñón in the Cerro Pachón Mountains, at an altitude of 2682 meters, in the Coquimbo region of northern Chile, alongside the existing Southern Gemini and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.