new publication – The Physics of the Accelerating Universe Camera


The Physics of the Accelerating Universe (PAU) Survey goal is to obtain photometric redshifts (photo-z) and spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of astronomical objects with a resolution roughly one order of magnitude better than current broadband (BB) photometric surveys. To accomplish this, a new large field-of-view (FoV) camera (PAUCam) has been designed, built, and commissioned and is now operated at the William Herschel Telescope (WHT). With the current WHT prime focus corrector, the camera covers an ∼1° diameter FoV, of which only the inner ∼40′ diameter is unvignetted. The focal plane consists of a mosaic of 18 2k × 4k Hamamatsu fully depleted CCDs, with high quantum efficiency up to 1 μm in wavelength. To maximize the detector coverage within the FoV, filters are placed in front of the CCDs inside the camera cryostat (made out of carbon fiber) using a challenging movable tray system. The camera uses a set of 40 narrowband filters ranging from ∼4500 to ∼8500 Å complemented with six standard BB filters, ugrizY. The PAU Survey aims to cover roughly 100 deg2 over fields with existing deep photometry and galaxy shapes to obtain accurate photometric redshifts for galaxies down to i AB ∼ 22.5, also detecting galaxies down to i AB ∼ 24 with less precision in redshift. With this data set, we will be able to measure intrinsic alignments and galaxy clustering and perform galaxy evolution studies in a new range of densities and redshifts. Here we describe the PAU camera, its first commissioning results, and its performance.


The Astronomical Journal, Volume 157, Issue 6, article id. 246, 27 pp. (2019).
Pub Date:
June 2019
  • dark energy;
  • instrumentation: photometers;
  • large-scale structure of universe;
  • surveys;
  • techniques: photometric;
  • Astrophysics – Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
E-Print Comments:
34 pages, 55 figures; doi:10.3847/1538-3881/ab0412