Tag Archives: camera

On the edge of the possible

It is probably hard to overestimate the effort required to coordinate the Gaia hardware and software development. While the industrial consortium EADS-Astrium developed the actual satellite and onboard software, the Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) is responsible for the scientific data processing. As explained in an earlier blog entry, DPAC consists of several hundred people in dozens of scientific institutes spread all over Europe. Because the scientific requirements of the Gaia measurements are on the edge of what seems physically possible, every aspect of the hardware must be understood and calibrated to an unprecedented level – I will give an example below. This has led to a constant exchange between scientists...

Opening (activating) the gates of Gaia

As you may know already from previous blog entries Gaia will fly the biggest camera ever into space. The image created by the two telescopes will be huge: about 1 m wide and 0.5 m high. To cover this entire area you need 106 different CCDs (detectors). Most of them are white light CCDs. Additionally there are blue sensitive (BP) and red sensitive (RP) CCDs. About one billion pixels (picture elements) are distributed over the focal plane as each CCD consists of about 9 million pixels. CCD images can have saturated pixels as you may have experienced with your digital camera when taking photos or videos and a bright light source is...