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© 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.. The Dark Energy Camera is a new imager with a 2.°2 diameter field of view mounted at the prime focus of the Victor M. Blanco 4 m telescope on Cerro Tololo near La Serena, Chile. The camera was designed and constructed by the Dark Energy Survey Collaboration and meets or exceeds the stringent requirements designed for the wide-field and supernova surveys for which the collaboration uses it. The camera consists of a five-element optical corrector, seven filters, a shutter with a 60 cm aperture, and a charge-coupled device (CCD) focal plane of 250 μm thick fully depleted CCDs cooled inside a vacuum Dewar. The 570 megapixel focal plane comprises 62 2k × 4k CCDs for imaging and 12 2k × 2k CCDs for guiding and focus. The CCDs have 15 μm × 15 μm pixels with a plate scale of 0.″263 pixel-1. A hexapod system provides state-of-the-art focus and alignment capability. The camera is read out in 20 s with 6-9 electron readout noise. This paper provides a technical description of the camera's engineering, construction, installation, and current status.
Original languageEnglish
Article number150
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • atlases
  • catalogs
  • cosmology: observations
  • instrumentation: detectors
  • instrumentation: photometers
  • surveys


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