User's Guide to the Prime Focus Camera

Table of Contents

Hardware Overview
Software Overview
Detector Characteristics
Plate Scale and FOV
Count Rates
PFCam User Interfaces
Motor Control GUI
CCD Interface
Observing with PFCam
Starting the Software
Observing Hints
3-D representation
2-D representation
CCD diagrams
PFCam layout

Mt. Hamilton Homepage

CCD Characteristics (see also Plate Scale and Field of View)

PFCam's detector is a back-illuminated, Fairchild 4096 x 4096 CCD with 15-micron square pixels.

Quantum Efficiency Plot (measured in the lab, Jamuary 2006; opens in a new window).

Detector Characteristics for each readout mode

binning readout
readout time
Linear to
x1slow1.3112:40 55,000
x1fast1.4240:50 55,000
x2slow1.23.50:45 64,000
x2fast1.3100:15 40,000
x4slow1.23.10:15 60,000
x4fast1.54.70:05 40,000
NB: Bias level should be about 1000 DN for every readout mode.
Measured on the telescope, August 2010 by E.Gates.

Full well is reached at 118K e-, well beyond the 64K DN A-to-D saturation when using bin x2 slow readout, which is recommended for most data collection.

The default setup reads out the CCD using two of the chip's four amplifiers. The overscan regions occupy the far right (highest numbered) columns and correspond to the amplifiers as shown below (overscan regions not to scale).

More PFCam CCD specs and characeristics can be found on our detector pages.

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Last modified: Tue Mar 8 18:46:42 PST 2011