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Uncooled Microbolometer Arrays for Ground Based Astronomy

Rashman, MF, Steele, IA, Bates, SD, Copley, D and Longmore, SN (2019) Uncooled Microbolometer Arrays for Ground Based Astronomy. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 492 (1). pp. 480-487. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

We describe the design and commissioning of a simple prototype, low-cost 10$\mu$m imaging instrument. The system is built using commercially available components including an uncooled microbolometer array as a detector. The incorporation of adjustable germanium reimaging optics rescale the image to the appropriate plate scale for the 2-m diameter Liverpool Telescope. From observations of bright solar system and stellar sources, we demonstrate a plate scale of 0.75$^{\prime\prime}$ per pixel and confirm the optical design allows diffraction limited imaging. We record a $\sim$ 10$\%$ photometric stability due to sky variability. We measure a $3 \sigma$ sensitivity of $7 \times 10^{3}$ Jy for a single, $\sim$ 0.11 second exposure. This corresponds to a sensitivity limit of $3 \times 10^{2}$ Jy for a 60 second total integration. We present an example science case from observations of the 2019 Jan total lunar eclipse and show that the system can detect and measure the anomalous cooling rate associated with the features Bellot and Langrenus during eclipse.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2019 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.IM; astro-ph.IM
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2020 10:24
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2020 10:30
DOI or Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stz3497
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11945

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