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Acquisition Camera Introduction
The Acquisition Cameras are no longer offered for science usage. These pages will continue to be available for those with AcqCam data but will no longer be maintained.
The Acquisition Camera is an optical CCD-based instrument within the Acquisition and Guidance (A&G) unit (module 1). The Acquisition Camera provides two major capabilities: (1) telescope pointing verification via short exposures and fast readout of bright stars, and (2) target selection via intermediate-length exposures.
Retraction of the science fold mirror, used to direct the telescope, calibration or AO-corrected beam to a side-looking instrument, and insertion of the Acquisition Camera pick-off allows a visible-wavelength image of the field to be taken. (This device doubles as the high-resolution wavefront sensor [HRWFS] which is used periodically to measure the shape of the primary mirror).
The Acquisition Camera has two filter wheels, one with bandwidth-limiting colour filters and the other with neutral density filters. The detector is a TE-cooled, frame-transfer CCD with 1Kx1K pixels covering a 2x2 arcmin 2 field of view. There is no shutter.
The AcqCam is available on Gemini South (only) in semester 2003B for science use with particular emphasis on Quick Response and fast repetition rate observations and in 2004A for scheduled fast repetition rate observations only (i.e. no Quick Response). See the Quick Response operational procedures page for more details.
For more information on the AcqCam capabilities (filters, detector properties etc.) see the Performance and Use section in the contents list. The AcqCam Observing Strategies page contains information on the characteristics of the instrument as well as other relevant details concerning the available observing modes.