Scientific Imaging Systems

Scientific Imaging Systems

There are a number of scientific instruments available for use with the 2.4-metre Thai National Telescope. Each instrument has specific purpose for collecting the data and astronomers can request what they want to use in each night as list below. An instrumental cube on the TNT has 4 available instrument ports which have ULTRASPEC, ARAC 4K, and Medium Resolution Spectrograph permanently mounted on. We therefore have only one port left to put instrument on request. If you are interesting at these instruments. Please click below for more information.

Scientific Camera

DesignationFormatField of ViewStatus
Ultraspec 1k x 1k 7.6' x 7.6' Available
ARC 4K 4k x 4k 8.8' x 8.8' Available
Apoogee U42 2k x 2k 4' x 4' Not Available
Apoogee U9000 3k x 3k 4' x 4' Not Available

Planetary photography

(Point Grey & ZWO)

See below See below Available


DesignationFormatSpectral RangeResolutionStatus
Medium Resolution Spectrograph Echelle 380-900 nm ~18,000 Available
Meaburn Spectrograph Fibre-fed 390-800 nm ~400 Not Available
eShel Spectrograph Echelle 430-710 nm ~10,000 Not Available


ULTRASPEC on the TNT provides imaging photometry over a field of view 7.7' x 7.7' with a pixel scale of 0.45"/pixel. A selection of 14 differenct broad-band and narrow-band filters can be accommodated in its 6 - possition filters wheel, covering the wavelength range 300 - 1000 nm.  Zero read out noise is available via the avalanche output. The detector is liquid-nitrogen-cooled to 160 K, providing dark cuurent of less than 10 e-/ pixel/hr. The maximum frame trate using small, binned windows in drift mode is approximately 200 Hz. It comes with variety of filters such as Clear, NaI, SDSS u', SDSS g', SDSS r', SDSS i', SDSS z', CIII/NIII_HeII, Red continuum, Halpha broad, Blue continuum, Halpha narrow, SDSS i'+z', KG5 and CIII/NIII_HeI  Find more information; Click Here


Medium Resolution Spectrograp; MRES

The main spectrograph of TNT is in between the assemble at China under MOU with Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology; National Astronomical Observatories, CAS, Nanjing China. It is specific to be medium resolution because of suitable with 2.4 m, f/10 and also most of astronomers study on this region. It has spectral resolution at 15,000 and covers wavelength 390 to 880 nm, also there is spectral format of Echelle cross-dispersed Diffraction orders : 41-92. Its detector is Andor, 2048 x 512 pixel; pixel size is at 13.5 microns. Installation will be start on October 2014 and then use in scientific purpose on the coming observing season.


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There is one commercial scientific camera which is used to collect light intensity at night with Thai National Telescope, TNT. It is APOGEE U42 due to exceptionally high quantum efficiency and it has a back-illuminated full frame 4-megapixel CCD with the standard midband coating that reach the highest peak in the visible. Its arrray size (pixels) is at 2048 x 2048 and size of pixel is 13.5 x 13.5 microns. Also it has digital resolution at 16 bit. Its FOV is 4' x 4' and the minimum exposure time is at 20 milliseconds and the maximum of this is at 183 minutes. Moreover, it is available with Apogee AI-FW50 Serise Filter Wheels which provide a large format filtering solutions for observation. The FW50 filter wheel currently has two interchangeable filter carousels; A large 9 position 50 mm round wheel ideal for Alta U42. There are U, B, V, Rc and Ic filter for photometry and L, R, G and B filter for photography; Find more specification of U42; Click Here

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U42 diagram1 U42 diagram2


Another comercial scientific camera used to do the research now at TNT is The Apogee U9000. A very large format 9-megapixel full frame sensor with anti-blooming gates, ideal for applications requiring large field of view, such as astrophotography, sky surveys and radiology.  Its arrray size (pixels) is at 3056 x 3056 and size of pixel is 12 x 12 microns and also 16 bit digitization. The minimum exposure time is at 30 milliseconds and the maximum of this is at 183 minutes. Find more specification of U9000. There are U, B, V, Rc and Ic filter for photometry and L, R, G and B filter for photography; Click Here

U9000 E U9000 F

ARC 4K Camera

ARC 4K Camera is the important scientific camera for TNT in the 2015 observing season and it is now attaching and test with 2.4 m. It has 16 megapixel, built and delivered under the contract with Astronomical Consultants & Equipment Inc, ARC; as the camera comes with auto-guider then it has high performance to track the object or the specific target on astronomer requested. It also come with U B V R I, H-alpha and red continuum filters. Nevertheles, it is now during the test period so it will be available for doing the research in the next observing season.

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Camera for planetary photography

High Frame rate cameras for imaging of solar planetary bodies. Suitable for using with Lucky imaging technique to achieve high angular resolution imaging of planet surface. 

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Point Grey

Point grey, a 1-megapixel camera with a set of UV, BVR, IR and methane filters, is a Grasshopper Express camera widely employed in the study of planetary atmosphere. FOV is at 42.4" x 42.4". The main purpose is for studying of planets such as Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. It is sentitive to light and take the picture in the high fram rate per second which allows researchers to do the lucky image technique to follow the surface of planet and then study the change of its in each year. For more information; Click Here

Point grey Point grey 2

eShel spectrograph

The comercial spectrograph,eShel, is used to do the research at TNT in the mean time of assembling Medium Resolution Spectrograph, MRES. It is good medium spectrograph with 2.4 diameter telescope due to large collecting light area for studying the spectrum of stars and other objects to find out the property of them. Its resolution is at 10,000 ; cover wavelength between 450 nm and 700 nm. Also It comes with calibration unit. Furthermore, Software provided with components is open source, base on AudeLA platform which autometicly reduce spectrum. For more information; Click Here

eShel 2

Meaburn spectrograph

The low resolution spectrograph is used to study the property of galaxy. It is donated bythe University of Manchester through Prof. John Meaburn.

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