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OSSC January Meeting - Speaker Roger Smith
Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017
OSSC Regular Meeting
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Surveying the Sky 1500 Times Faster:
The engineering of a large astronomical Camera
Roger Smith, Caltech
Abstract: In 1949 the first sky-brightness-limited survey of the entire Northern sky began on the Palomar 48” Sch midt telescope. Covering 33,700 square degrees to declination -30, it took nine years of manual observations to complete in two colors, using 14” square photographic emulsions with state of the art sensitivity. This talk describes the technologies and engineering that will soon enable the same telescope to work 1500 times faster, imaging 4800 square degrees per hour at similar resolution and depth, with far superior calibration accuracy. Humans laboriously scanning photographic plates by eye have been replaced by a high speed communication link to a large computer system at Caltech running software that calibrates and aligns incoming images, then compares them to similar ones taken just hours earlier. Real astronomical events will be identified and classified automatically. Targets for spectroscopic follow-up by larger telescopes will be flagged within minutes. This talk will address a broad audience, while questions are invited at any level.
About our speaker: Roger Smith’s career as an electrical engineer building astronomical cameras has benefited from the stunning evolution in electronic imaging technologies that has transformed our understanding of our place in the universe and how it works. Upon graduation he worked 4 years at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, then 18 years at the US national observatory in northern Chile, before moving to Caltech in 2001, where he develops instrumentation, investigates CCD and NIR sensor physics, and advises other large projects and several space missions. He is currently leading a multi-disciplinary engineering team developing the 600 megapixel CCD camera described in this talk.
Monterey at Encino
16821 Burbank Boulevard Encino, CA 91436
Reception: 6:00; Dinner: 7:00; Talk: 8:00
Meal: Buffet Style
Dinner: $35 for registration by Jan. 10th, $40 after
(OSSC Student Members $10 by Jan. 10th, $20 after)
Please Register by Sunday 10 January 2017