Latest information on HiPERCAM.

Current status of HiPERCAM (July 2023)

HiPERCAM is now permanently mounted on its own focus on the GTC, known as Folded Cassegrain G (FC-G). To do this, we had to build a new rotator, electronics cabinet and autoguider system (the latter is based on COMPO). Commissioning of the new focus took place during June and July, and the first science observations will begin on 26 July 2023.

Press release

19 July 2023

Two-Faced Star Exposed


Project milestones

Date Description
22 Jul 2013 €3.5M ERC Advanced Grant award to Dhillon announced.
Jul-Dec 2013 Negotiations with ERC, e2v, UKATC, Universities.
1 Jan 2014 ERC grant started.
24 Feb 2014 Contract signed with UKATC.
26 Feb 2014 Contract signed with e2v.
3 Apr 2014 Project kick-off meeting at UKATC.
11 Nov 2014 Scintillation-correction meeting at UKATC.
21 Nov 2014 PDR at UKATC.
17 Feb 2015 Contract signed with ESO for CCD controllers.
21 Apr 2015 Contract signed with UCryo for CCD heads.
27 Apr 2015 GPS system ordered.
13 May 2015 Optical CDR and mechanical PDR at UKATC.
6 Jun 2015 SDSS filters delivered.
11 Jun 2015 GPS system delivered.
30 Jun 2015 GTC selected for collimator design.
20 Jul 2015 Mechanical sample CCDs delivered to Sheffield by e2v.
23 Jul 2015 Scintillation requirements document completed.
30 Jul 2015 Dichroics ordered from Asahi.
13 Aug 2015 ESO NGC delivered.
2 Sep 2015 Contract variation with UCryo signed.
7 Sep 2015 Cryostat windows ordered from Asahi.
10 Sep 2015 Characterisation Results Review meeting at e2v.
22 Sep 2015 Optics tender closed.
21 Oct 2015 Mechanical CDR at UKATC.
2 Nov 2015 Optics contract awarded to RMI.
11 Jan 2016 Engineering-grade CCDs delivered to UKATC by e2v.
13 Jan 2016 First visit to GTC to see Folded Cassegrain focus.
29 Feb 2016 1x G28 and 3x G27 science CCDs delivered to UKATC by e2v.
2 Mar 2016 Dichroics delivered.
21 Mar 2016 2x G29 science CCDs delivered to UKATC by e2v.
28 Jun 2016 HiPERCAM talk at SPIE, Edinburgh.
4 Jul 2016 Dichroics mounted in frames and installed in hull.
22 Sep 2016 Hull driven up to UKATC.
24 Oct 2016 Lens barrels arrive at UKATC from RMI.
26 Oct 2016 Lens barrels installed on hull.
Jan-Mar 2017 Alignment of dichroics and lens barrels in optics lab at UKATC.
16 Jun 2017 Hull moved to Crawford lab for integration with CCD heads.
22 Aug 2017 CCD1 installed in head.
24 Aug 2017 Opto-mechanical chassis parts sent for anodising.
1 Sep 2017 CCD5 installed in head.
6 Sep 2017 CCD1 and CCD5 aligned on hull.
8 Sep 2017 CCD4 installed in head.
14 Sep 2017 CCD2 installed in head.
14 Sep 2017 CCD4 aligned on hull.
20 Sep 2017 CCD3 installed in head.
22 Sep 2017 CCD2 and CCD3 aligned on hull.
24 Sep 2017 Opto-mechanical chassis assembly completed in Sheffield.
25 Sep 2017 CE testing of trolley and collar at Portabello.
26-29 Sep 2017 Final assembly, integration and packing at UKATC.
29 Sep 2017 HiPERCAM shipped from UKATC to La Palma.
17-22 Oct 2017 Commissioning and first WHT science run.
Nov 2017-Jan 2018 Multiple UKATC visits to repair CCD1 and perform NGC hardware/software enhancements.
14-21 Jan 2018 WHT visit to realign CCD1, replace dichroic clamp and install vacuum manifold.
23 Jan 2018 UKATC visit to modify NGC boards.
2-14 Feb 2018 Commissioning and first GTC science run.
9 Mar 2018 Remaining equipment at UKATC moved to Sheffield.
15-20 Mar 2018 GTC visit to repair CCD1 and CCD2.
5-8 Apr 2018 GTC visit to repair CCD3.
14-19 Apr 2018 Second GTC science run.
27 Apr 2018 First COMPO meeting at UKATC.
17-21 May 2018 Third GTC science run.
30 May 2018 Second COMPO meeting at Durham.
6-10 Jun 2018 Fourth GTC science run.
11 Jun 2018 HiPERCAM talk at SPIE, Austin.
20 Jun 2018 HiPERCAM removed from GTC for autoguider installation.
1 Oct 2018 HiPERCAM remounted on the GTC.
4-9 Oct 2018 Fifth GTC science run.
24 Oct 2018 Third COMPO meeting at Sheffield, just with Marc Dubbeldam.
30 Oct-1 Nov 2018 Sixth GTC science run. Prototype diffuser tested on sky.
14-19 Nov 2018 Seventh GTC science run.
13 Dec 2018 HiPERCAM talk at VI Meeting on Science with GTC, Valencia.
13 Dec 2018 STFC grant awarded for preliminary design study of new rotator.
8-13 Jan 2019 Eighth GTC science run. HiPERCAM removed from focus at end.
29 Jan 2019 COMPO Final Design Review meeting at Durham.
13 Mar 2019 HiPERCAM talk at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh.
14 Mar 2019 Order placed for COMPO optics.
8 Apr 2019 First scientific paper published using HiPERCAM data, in Nature Astronomy.
21-25 Apr 2019 GTC visit to repair CCD2, install ultrasonic flow sensors, work on new electronics cabinet, consolidate IT equipment in control room.
7 May 2019 Deliver COMPO hardware to Durham, and hold progress meetings on COMPO and the new GTC rotator.
1-7 Jun 2019 HiPERCAM re-installed on GTC and ninth science run performed.
6-9 Jul 2019 Tenth GTC science run.
23-27 Aug 2019 Eleventh GTC science run.
6-8 Sept 2019 Twelfth GTC science run. HiPERCAM removed from focus at end.
17 Oct 2019 COMPO alignment preparation meeting at UKATC.
8 Nov 2019 HiPERCAM talk at the RAS, London.
17 Dec 2019 HiPERCAM talk at the GTC-CTA Synergy meeting, Madrid.
31 Dec 2019 ERC grant ended.
13 Jan 2020 First HiPERCAM rotator meeting with Javier Castro at GTC.
4 Mar 2020 Second HiPERCAM rotator meeting with Javier Castro and Benjamin Siegel at IAC.
16 Mar 2020 Second HiPERCAM paper published in Nature Astronomy.
23 Jun 2020 Rotator consultancy contract (PDR and Phases I & II) signed with GTC.
9 Oct 2020 Funding for Phase I of the rotator project awarded by STFC.
24 Nov 2020 HiPERCAM operations and enhancements grant awarded by STFC.
18 Dec 2020 Rotator Preliminary Design Review meeting (online).
19 Jan 2021 First COMPO optical alignment meeting (online).
1 Feb 2021 Phase I rotator consultancy contract signed with Durham.
8 Mar 2021 Rotator contract (Phases I & II) signed with IDOM.
30 Mar 2021 Second COMPO optical alignment meeting (online).
20 Apr 2021 Rotator contract kick-off meeting with IDOM (online).
2 May 2021 HiPERCAM remounted on the FC-E focus of the GTC.
5-16 May 2021 Thirteenth GTC science run (remote).
21 May 2021 Rotator progress meeting with IDOM and GTC (online).
7-17 Jun 2021 Fourteenth GTC science run (remote).
9 Jun 2021 Funding for Phase II of the rotator project awarded by STFC.
26-30 Jul 2021 CCD2 and CCD3 vacuum leaks finally fixed.
26 Jul 2021 HiPERCAM instrument paper published in MNRAS.
30 Jul - 12 Sep 2021 Fifteenth GTC science run (remote).
4 Aug 2021 Rotator Final Design Review (FDR) meeting (online).
14-16 Sep 2021 HiPERCAM dismounted from GTC.
29 Sep 2021 Rotator FDR close-out meeting with IDOM (online)
22 Oct 2021 Rotator FDR close-out meeting with GTC (online)
2 Dec 2021 Rotator update meeting at GTC
17-21 Jan 2022 COMPO alignment in Crawford Lab at UKATC, Edinburgh
4-6 May 2022 Cable-wrap installation on rotator at IDOM, Bilbao
12 May 2022 Invited talk on HiPERCAM given by Dhillon at GTC VII science meeting in Florida (online)
15-17 June 2022 HiPERCAM autoguider alignment at Sheffield with Marc Dubbeldam
22 June 2022 Rotator Factory Acceptance Test online (Tele-FAT) with IDOM and Marc Dubbeldam
10-14 August 2022 Rotator delivered to GTC on La Palma
1 Sept 2022 Invited talk on HiPERCAM given by Dhillon at Photon 2020 conference in Nottingham
2 Sept 2022 Rotator documentation wrap-up meeting with IDOM (online)
8-15 Sept 2022 COMPO delivered to GTC on La Palma, and installation of electronics in new HiPERCAM cabinet
16-23 Apr 2023 New rotator, COMPO, electronics cabinet and HiPERCAM mounted on FC-G
10-16 May 2023 New rotator, COMPO, electronics cabinet and HiPERCAM cabled and powered up at FC-G
24-26 May 2023 First light with HiPERCAM at FC-G. Rotator, COMPO and autoguider commissioning commenced
2 June 2023 New rotator commissioning at FC-G completed. COMPO and autoguider commissioning continued
6 Jul 2022 Invited talk on HiPERCAM given by Dhillon at National Astronomy Meeting, Cardiff
13-17 Jul 2023 CCD3 and CCD4 realigned on HiPERCAM
26-27 Jul 2023 COMPO and autoguider commissioning completed
5-12 Aug 2023 First HiPERCAM science run at its new FC-G focus!