Validating the Local Volume Mapper acquisition and guiding hardware

Maximilian Häberle, Thomas M. Herbst, Peter Bizenberger, Guillermo Blanc, Florian Briegel, Niv Drory, Wolfgang Gässler, Nick Konidaris, Kathryn Kreckel, Markus Kuhlberg, Lars Mohr, Eric Pellegrini, Solange Ramirez, Christopher Ritz, Ralf-Rainer Rohloff, Paula Stępień

Submitted on 11 July 2022


The Local Volume Mapper (LVM) project is one of three surveys that form the Sloan Digital Sky Survey V. It will map the interstellar gas emission in a large fraction of the southern sky using wide-field integral field spectroscopy. Four 16-cm telescopes in siderostat configuration feed the integral field units (IFUs). A reliable acquisition and guiding (A&G) strategy will help ensure that we meet our science goals. Each of the telescopes hosts commercial CMOS cameras used for A&G. In this work, we present our validation of the camera performance. Our tests show that the cameras have a readout noise of around 5.6e- and a dark current of 21e-/s, when operated at the ideal gain setting and at an ambient temperature of 20{\deg}C. To ensure their performance at a high-altitude observing site, such as the Las Campanas Observatory, we studied the thermal behaviour of the cameras at different ambient pressures and with different passive cooling solutions. Using the measured properties, we calculated the brightness limit for guiding exposures. With a 5 s exposure time, we reach a depth of around 16.5 Gaia gmag with a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)>5. Using Gaia Early Data Release 3, we verified that there are sufficient guide stars for each of the around 25000 survey pointings. For accurate acquisition, we also need to know the focal plane geometry. We present an approach that combines on-chip astrometry and using a point source microscope to measure the relative positions of the IFU lenslets and the individual CMOS pixels to around 2 μm accuracy.


Comment: Submitted to SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2022, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IX, Paper 12184-256

Subject: Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics