Mitsubishi Electric Helps Upgrade Subaru Telescope Observation System
7/31/2013 3:17:00 AM
Succeeds in trial of new observation instrument
TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO:6503) announced today it has delivered the Prime FocusUnit, a major component for the prime focus camera, the Hyper Suprime-Cam(HSC), that has been newly installed in the Subaru Telescope on the Big Island of Hawaii. The National Astronomical Observatory Japan (NAOJ) of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences received the Prime Focus Unitfrom Mitsubishi Electric this month.
Also today, NAOJ released aset of breathtaking images of the universe taken with the HSC and Prime Focus Unit fitted provisionally to the Subaru Telescope.
The HSC's unprecedented upgrade with the Prime Focus Unit will enable theSubaru Telescope to observe dark energy and dark matter with world-leading accuracy. Astronomists are actively trying to determine thecharacteristics of dark matter and dark energy, which comprise 90 percentof the universe and are considered crucial to understanding the origin and evolution of the universe.
The Subaru Telescope, which has an 8.2-meter diameter primary mirror, is noted for its high-quality wide-field observations. The new HSC realizes a field that is about seventimes wider than the previous prime focus camera, the Suprime-Cam, but still maintains high-resolution images.
Mitsubishi Electric's Prime Focus Unit helps to accurately maneuver the camera and wide-field corrector lens, which together weigh about 2.2 tons. The unit's six actuators are capable of large load bearing and very high precision, enabling the lens and camera to be accurately positioned relative to the telescope's primary mirror with micro-meter precision and extremely smooth motion to continuously compensate for the effects of gravity deflection. The instrument rotator's drive mechanism rotates the camera on an optical axis with smooth precision to ensure that the camera is always aligned with the diurnal rotation of the sky.