Optical & Infrared Astronomy (OIR)
The optical and infrared instrumentation program of IAA is initiated with the development of the Wide Field Infrared Camera (WIRCam), officially started in late 2001. The WIRCam is a collaboration between ASIAA and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope team. The WIRCam is one of the largest working infrared cameras ever built in the world, and it has become one of the major instruments on the CFHT. The WIRCam was deployed on the CFHT in 2006. The large 20’ field of view is achieved by 4 adjoining 2048x2048 HgCdTe detector arrays. This wide field will make possible large-scale near-infrared imaging surveys to revolutionize the science of star formation, galactic structure and evolution, and the large scale structure in the Universe. We are continuing to collaborate on the next CFHT instrument, a spectropolarimeter called SPIROU, delivering the tip-tilt and viewing camera systems, as well as collaborating on the science camera.
Following the success of collaboration with CFHT, ASIAA started to work with Subaru telescope in 2008 in order to access to larger aperture telescopes. ASIAA has contributed to the wide field visible camera Hyper SuprimeCam (HSC). It will be the largest format optical camera with 116 2kx4k CCD detectors covering a 1.5 degree field of view. This is a factor of 10 improvement over the existing Suprime Cam, and will have a total performance, as measured by the product of the aperture size and the field of view, which will exceed that of all other telescopes. The main scientific goal of the HSC will be the study of weak gravitational lensing over large areas of the sky. Approximately 2000 square degrees will be surveyed in 5 year period. From gravitational lensing, the total mass distribution (ordinary matter as well as dark matter) of clusters of galaxies will be surveyed. From the distribution of the clusters, the cosmic shear will be examined, and the role of dark energy to the acceleration of the Universe will be constrained.