Caltech HIgh-speed Multi-color camERA: a prime focus instrument for the Palomar 200-inch
CHIMERA is a high-speed, two-color photometer, developed in collaboration by groups at Caltech and JPL for deployment at the prime focus of the Palomar 200-inch telescope. The instrument is optimized for monitoring of targets varying on timescales from milliseconds to hours. Primary science includes the detection and characterization of sub-km Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) via occultation, detection of faint near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and monitoring of short duration transient and periodic sources, particularly those discovered by iPTF. Examples of the latter include eclipsing binaries, flaring stars, pulsing white dwarfs, brown dwarfs and transiting planets.
CHIMERA is currently capable of high-speed imaging of a 2.5 x 2.5 arc minute field of view simultaneously in the Sloan g band, and either of the Sloan r or Sloan i bands (Fig. 1). CHIMERA uses two Andor iXon 888 EMCCDs with 1024x1024 pixels, allowing high-speed (10 MHz readout) imaging in two colors with very low read noise (<1 e- with EM gain applied). An upgraded version of the instrument is currently being developed as part of a JPL Research and Technology Development (R&TD) award. This upgrade will include the necessary optics and housing (Fig. 2) to allow a much larger field of view (8 x 8 arc minutes) and allow simultaneous imaging with a full suite of Sloan filters and supplementary narrow-band (e.g. H-alpha) and broadband filters. The blue side and red side are divided by a dichroic beam splitter with reflectance and transmittance curves meeting at ~567 nm.
Contact the CHIMERA team
If you wish to contact the CHIMERA team for more information, you can reach the Principal Investigator here: firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Instrument Scientist here: email@example.com. Other group members are listed on the left of the webpage (top).
CHIMERA Principal Investigator
- Gregg Hallinan (Caltech)
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHIMERA Instrument Scientist
- Leon K. Harding (Caltech)
- Contact: email@example.com
Other CHIMERA Team Members
- Michael Shao (JPL)
- Jagmit Sandhu (JPL)
- Jennifer Milburn (Caltech)
- Paul Gardner (Caltech)
- Nick Konidaris (Caltech)