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Ultracam : an ultra-fast, triple-beam CCD camera.

Stevenson, Mark John (2005) Ultracam : an ultra-fast, triple-beam CCD camera. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Charge-Coupled Devices (CCD) have revolutionised observational astronomy since they were introduced in the 1970s. Their only limitation is their inability to operate at high frame rates. This has meant that faint objects that vary on timescales of less than of order seconds cannot be temporally resolved, ruling out, for example, the study of variability in compact objects, such as white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. ULTRACAM is a triple-beam camera designed to overcome this limitation and enable the study of astrophysics on fast timescales using CCDs. The project was awarded £292,034 in July 1999 by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council and the instrument saw first light on 16 May 2002 on the William Herschel Telescope, on budget and three months ahead of schedule. This thesis describes my contribution to the ULTRACAM project. It begins with a description of the motivation for building ULTRACAM and lists its functional and performance requirements. An instrument design which meets these requirements is then presented, followed by a description of the manufacture and integration phase of the project. A whole chapter is then devoted to an in-depth analysis of the commissioning data obtained on the WHT, which verifies that ULTRACAM performs to specification. The thesis concludes with some suggestions for enhancements and future work.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Physics and Astronomy (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.419584
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2019 08:16
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2019 08:16
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21787

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