DOE News
    Doe Science news source
    The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
    • 2019-08-19 07:30:14
    • Article ID: 717616

    Brookhaven Completes LSST's Digital Sensor Array

    Brookhaven National Lab has finished constructing the 3.2 gigapixel "digital film" for the world's largest camera for cosmology, physics, and astronomy

    • Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory

      Members of the LSST project team at Brookhaven Lab are shown with a prototype raft cryostat. In addition to the rafts, Brookhaven scientists designed and built the cryostats that hold and cool the rafts to -100° Celsius.

    UPTON, NY—After 16 years of dedicated planning and engineering, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have completed a 3.2 gigapixel sensor array for the camera that will be used in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a massive telescope that will observe the universe like never before.

    “This is the biggest charge-coupled device (CCD) array that has ever been built,” said Paul O’Connor, senior scientist at Brookhaven Lab’s instrumentation division. “It’s three billion pixels. No telescope has ever put this many sensors into one camera.”

    The digital sensor array is composed of about 200 16-megapixel sensors, divided into 21 modules called “rafts.” Each raft can function on its own, but when combined, they will view an area of sky that can fit more than 40 full moons in a single image. Researchers will stitch these images together to create a time-lapse movie of the complete visible universe accessible from Chile.

    Currently under construction on a mountaintop in Chile, LSST is designed to capture the most complete images of our universe that have ever been achieved. The project to build the telescope facility and camera is a collaborative effort among more than 30 institutions from around the world, and it is primarily funded by DOE’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation. DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is leading the overall effort to construct the camera—the world’s largest camera for astronomy—while Brookhaven led the design, construction, and qualification of the digital sensor array—the “digital film” for the camera.

    “It’s the heart of the camera,” said Bill Wahl, science raft subsystem manager of the LSST project at Brookhaven Lab. “What we’ve done here at Brookhaven represents years of great work by many talented scientists, engineers, and technicians. Their work will lead to a collection of images that has never been seen before by anyone. It’s an exciting time for the project and for the Lab.”

     Brookhaven began its LSST research and development program in 2003, with construction of the digital sensor array starting in 2014. In the time leading up to construction, Brookhaven designed and fabricated the assembly and test equipment for the science rafts used both at Brookhaven and SLAC. The Laboratory also created an entire automated production facility and cleanroom, along with production and tracking software.

    “We made sure to automate as much of the production facility as possible,” O’Connor said. “Testing a single raft could take up to three days. We were working on a tight schedule, so we had our automated facility running 24/7. Of course, out of a concern for safety, we always had someone monitoring the facility throughout the day and night.”

    Constructing the complex sensor array, which operates in a vacuum and must be cooled to -100° Celsius, is a challenge on its own. But the Brookhaven team was also tasked with testing each fully assembled raft, as well as individual sensors and electronics. Once each raft was complete, it needed to be carefully packaged in a protective environment to be safely shipped across the country to SLAC.

    The LSST team at Brookhaven completed the first raft in 2017. But soon after, they were presented with a new challenge.

    “We later discovered that design features inadvertently led to the possibility that electrical wires in the rafts could get shorted out,” O’Connor said. “The rate at which this effect was impacting the rafts was only on the order of 0.2%, but to avoid any possibility of degradation, we went through the trouble of refitting almost every raft.”

    Now, just two years after the start of raft production, the team has successfully built and shipped the final raft to SLAC for integration into the camera. This marks the end of a 16-year project at Brookhaven, which will be followed by many years of astronomical observation.

    Many of the talented team members recruited to Brookhaven for the LSST project were young engineers and technicians hired right out of graduate school. Now, they’ve all been assigned to ongoing physics projects at the Lab, such as upgrading the PHENIX detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider—a DOE Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research—to sPHENIX, as well as ongoing work with the ATLAS detector at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. Brookhaven is the U.S. host laboratory for the ATLAS collaboration

    “Brookhaven’s role in the LSST camera project afforded new and exciting opportunities for engineers, technicians, and scientists in electro-optics, where very demanding specifications must be met,” Wahl said. “The multi-disciplined team we assembled did an excellent job achieving design objectives and I am proud of our time together. Watching junior engineers and scientists grow into very capable team members was extremely rewarding.”

    Brookhaven Lab will continue to play a strong role in LSST going forward. As the telescope undergoes its commissioning phase, Brookhaven scientists will serve as experts on the digital sensor array in the camera. They will also provide support during LSST’s operations, which are projected to begin in 2022.

     “The commissioning of such a complex camera will be an exciting and challenging endeavor,” said Brookhaven physicist Andrei Nomerotski, who is leading Brookhaven’s contributions to the commissioning and operation phases of the LSST project. “After years of using artificial signal sources for the sensor characterization, we are looking forward to seeing real stars and galaxies in the LSST CCDs.”

    Once operational in the Andes Mountains, LSST will serve nearly every subset of the astrophysics community. Perhaps most importantly, LSST will enable scientists to investigate dark energy and dark matter—two puzzles that have baffled physicists for decades. It is also estimated that LSST will find millions of asteroids in our solar system, in addition to offering new information about the creation of our galaxy. The images captured by LSST will be made available to physicists and astronomers in the U.S. and Chile immediately, making LSST one of the most advanced and accessible cosmology experiments ever created. Over time, the data will be made available to the public worldwide.

    Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.

    Follow @BrookhavenLab on Twitter or find us on Facebook.

    • other-fb
    • other-tw
    X
    X
    X
    • Filters

    • × Clear Filters
    AI for Plant Breeding in an Ever-Changing Climate

    AI for Plant Breeding in an Ever-Changing Climate

    In this Q&A, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Dan Jacobson talks about his team's work on a genomic selection algorithm, his vision for the future of environmental genomics, and the space where simulation meets AI.

    A New Parallel Strategy for Tackling Turbulence on Summit

    A New Parallel Strategy for Tackling Turbulence on Summit

    A team at Georgia Tech created a new turbulence algorithm optimized for the Summit supercomputer. It reached a performance of less than 15 seconds of wall-clock time per time step for more than 6 trillion grid points--a new world record surpassing the prior state of the art in the field for the size of the problem.

    Modeling Every Building in America Starts with Chattanooga

    Modeling Every Building in America Starts with Chattanooga

    An ORNL team used the Titan supercomputer to model every building serviced by the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga--all 178,368 of them--and discovered that EPB could potentially save $11-$35 million per year by adjusting electricity usage during peak critical times.

    Climate Change Expected to Shift Location of East Asian Monsoons

    Climate Change Expected to Shift Location of East Asian Monsoons

    More than a billion people in Asia depend on seasonal monsoons for their water needs. The Asian monsoon is closely linked to a planetary-scale tropical air flow which, according to a new study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will most likely shift geographically as the climate continues to warm, resulting in less rainfall in certain regions.

    Nuclear warheads? This robot can find them

    Nuclear warheads? This robot can find them

    PPPL and Princeton University are developing a unique neutron-detector robot for arms control and nuclear security purposes. The robot recently passed a key neutron-detection test.

    Deep neural networks speed up weather and climate models

    Deep neural networks speed up weather and climate models

    A team of environmental and computation scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are collaborating to use deep neural networks, a type of machine learning, to replace the parameterizations of certain physical schemes in the Weather Research and Forecasting Model, an extremely comprehensive model that simulates the evolution of many aspects of the physical world around us.

    New AI Model Tries to Synthesize Patient Data Like Doctors Do

    New AI Model Tries to Synthesize Patient Data Like Doctors Do

    A new approach developed by PNNL scientists improves the accuracy of patient diagnosis up to 20 percent when compared to other embedding approaches.

    Scientists Explore Egyptian Mummy Bones With X-Rays and Infrared Light to Gain New Insight on Ancient Life

    Scientists Explore Egyptian Mummy Bones With X-Rays and Infrared Light to Gain New Insight on Ancient Life

    Experiments at Berkeley Lab are casting a new light on Egyptian soil and ancient mummified bone samples that could provide a richer understanding of daily life and environmental conditions thousands of years ago. In a two-monthslong research effort that concluded in late August, two researchers from Cairo University in Egypt brought 32 bone samples and two soil samples to study using X-ray and infrared light-based techniques at the Lab's Advanced Light Source.

    Etalumis 'Reverses' Simulations to Reveal New Science

    Etalumis 'Reverses' Simulations to Reveal New Science

    A multinational collaboration using computing resources at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center has developed the first probabilistic programming framework capable of controlling existing simulators and running at large-scale on HPC platforms.

    Deep Learning Expands Study of Nuclear Waste Remediation

    Deep Learning Expands Study of Nuclear Waste Remediation

    A research collaboration between Berkeley Lab, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Brown University, and NVIDIA has achieved exaflop performance with a deep learning application used to model subsurface flow in the study of nuclear waste remediation


    • Filters

    • × Clear Filters
    ASU solar awards eclipse other universities in latest round of DOE funding

    ASU solar awards eclipse other universities in latest round of DOE funding

    ASU receives $9.8 million in Solar Energy Technologies Office Awards.

    DOE to Provide $10 Million for New Research into Ecosystem Processes

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a plan to provide $10 million for new observational and experimental studies aimed at improving the accuracy of today's Earth system models. Research will focus on three separate types of environments--terrestrial, watershed, and subsurface--where current models fall short of providing fully accurate representation.

    ORNL to host 13 teams for DOE CyberForce Competition

    ORNL to host 13 teams for DOE CyberForce Competition

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory will give college students the chance to practice cybersecurity skills in a real-world setting as a host of the Department of Energy's fifth collegiate CyberForce Competition on Nov. 16.

    Argonne nuclear engineer J'Tia Hart selected to Crain's Chicago Business "40 Under 40"

    Argonne nuclear engineer J'Tia Hart selected to Crain's Chicago Business "40 Under 40"

    Argonne nuclear engineer J'Tia Hart has been named to Crain's Chicago Business's "40 Under 40" list, which recognizes young leaders in a variety of fields.

    Lab-Wide Stormwater Capture, Transportation Savings and Clean-Up Efforts Win Federal Recognition

    Lab-Wide Stormwater Capture, Transportation Savings and Clean-Up Efforts Win Federal Recognition

    Argonne National Laboratory has won a regional Federal Green Challenge award for conserving resources and saving taxpayers' money.

    PPPL wins $70,000 in project funding from DOE for entrepreneurship

    PPPL wins $70,000 in project funding from DOE for entrepreneurship

    The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for two projects to encourage entrepreneurship and mentor and encourage potential entrepreneurs.

    Brookhaven-Commonwealth Fusion Energy Project Wins DOE Funding

    Brookhaven-Commonwealth Fusion Energy Project Wins DOE Funding

    Brookhaven's Superconducting Magnet Division will partner with industry to develop and characterize superconducting power cables.

    U.S. Department of Energy to Hold Fifth CyberForce Competition(tm)

    U.S. Department of Energy to Hold Fifth CyberForce Competition(tm)

    Going on its fourth year, DOE's CyberForce Competition(tm) on Nov. 15-16 will give teams of cybersecurity students and professionals the opportunity to compete and refine their skills in real-time at 10 national laboratories across the U.S.

    Daniel Gruen awarded 2019 Panofsky Fellowship at SLAC

    Daniel Gruen awarded 2019 Panofsky Fellowship at SLAC

    Daniel Gruen's work on how massive objects bend light from distant galaxies is aimed at unraveling some of the greatest mysteries of modern physics: What is dark matter? What is dark energy, and how is it accelerating the expansion of the universe?

    DOE Announces FY 2020 Small Business Innovation Research Funding Opportunity

    The Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs issued its FY 2020 Phase II Release 1 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) with approximately $97 million in available funding.


    • Filters

    • × Clear Filters
    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Scientists designed and connected two different artificial cells to each other to produce molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Bone and mollusk shells are composite systems that combine living cells and inorganic components. This allows them to regenerate and change structure while also being very strong and durable. Borrowing from this amazing complexity, researchers have been exploring a new class of materials called engineered living materials (ELMs).

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Researchers developed two new methods to assess and remove error in how scientists measure quantum systems. By reducing quantum "noise" - uncertainty inherent to quantum processes - these new methods improve accuracy and precision.

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    Lanthanum strontium manganite (LSMO) is a widely applicable material, from magnetic tunnel junctions to solid oxide fuel cells. However, when it gets thin, its behavior changes for the worse. The reason why was not known. Now, using two theoretical methods, a team determined what happens.

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    How an ion behaves when isolated within an analytical instrument can differ from how it behaves in the environment. Now, Xue-Bin Wang at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory devised a way to bring ions and molecules together in clusters to better discover their properties and predict their behavior.

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Shape affects how the particles fit together and, in turn, the resulting material. For the first time, a team observed the self-assembly of nanoparticles with tetrahedral shapes.

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    This study is the first to confirm dust particles pre-dating the formation of our solar system. Further study of these materials will enable a deeper understanding of the processes that formed and have since altered them.

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Future fusion reactors will require materials that can withstand extreme operating conditions, including being bombarded by high-energy neutrons at high temperatures. Scientists recently irradiated titanium diboride (TiB2) in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to better understand the effects of fusion neutrons on performance.

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    In breast cancer screening, an imaging technique based on nuclear medicine is currently being used as a successful secondary screening tool alongside mammography to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. Now, a team is hoping to improve this imaging technique.

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Scientists can use genetic information to measure if microbes in the environment can perform specific ecological roles. Researchers recently analyzed the genomes of over 6,000 microbial species.


    Spotlight





    Showing results

    0-4 Of 2215