BIRCAM: A near-infrared camera for the university of wyoming red buttes observatory

Andrew J. Monson, Michael J. Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We describe the design and performance of a near-infrared camera for use at the University of Wyoming 24 inch telescope at Red Buttes Observatory. The camera makes use of a HAWAII-2 2048 × 2048 pixel HgCdTe array, sensitive from 0.9-2.5 μm. The array is operated with a Generation III controller from Astronomical Research Cameras and makes use of a General Use Multi-Channel Preamplifier from IRLabs. The camera optics consist of a compact 1:1 re-imaging Offner relay with a cold pupil mask and includes a nine-position filter wheel driven internally with a cryogenically conditioned steppermotor. The primary objective was to develop a low-cost system for testing the HAWAII-2 array and electronics that were acquired for a larger project, while at the same time providing a temporary near-infrared camera for use at Red Buttes Observatory. In this article we present various aspects of the mechanical construction, optics, electronics, and performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-734
Number of pages7
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number881
StatePublished - Jul 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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