26 Sep 2023



HiPERCAM is a high-speed astronomical camera that can record up to 1000 images per second.




HiPERCAM in the lab at UK ATC, it is a complex piece of machinery with cameras, nuts, bolts and valves.T​his quintuple-beam imager is installed on the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) in La Palma on the Canary Islands and saw first light in February 2018 at the William Herschel Telescope also in La Palma. It was specifically designed to capture rapid variations in astronomical objects and study them in more detail than ever before.

HiPERCAM employs re-imaging optics and utilises four dichroic beam splitters to simultaneously capture images through its five CCD cameras. The detectors within HiPERCAM are frame-transfer devices, meticulously cooled thermo-electrically to -90°C. This cooling capability allows long-exposure, deep images of faint celestial targets and high-speed imaging for swiftly changing astronomical targets.

Vik Dhillon (University of Shefield​)​ was the Principal Investigator on HiPERCAM and the UK ATC engineers and managers worked with him to develop instrument. UK ATC's role in HiPERCAM included the design of the optical system, and characterisation of the detectors. The instrument was also built up, integrated, and aligned on site, with support from partners at the University of Shefield and University of Durham.

Find out more about HiPERCAM.​