Modern Machine Shop

JUL 2018

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Machining's Role in Camera Production Modern Machine Shop 85 Getting to the BIG PICTURE SLAC is building the world's largest digital camera, to be installed inside the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Getting there requires the machining expertise of shops like Keller Technology. "A large fraction of the energy in the universe can't be explained just by what we can see with a normal telescope," Martin Nordby says. "There was a scientific need for an instrument like this to really better understand the nature of dark energy and dark matter." The instrument he is describing, the one that will widen scien- tists' view of the universe, is the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which one day will be installed on a mountaintop in Chile. This telescope will be able to survey the southern sky "almost horizon to horizon," he says. But the LSST is not just for seeing the sky: It will also record it. Equipped with a massive digital camera, the telescope will enable scientists to photograph the southern sky every other night, and tile the pictures together to study how dark energy and dark matter interact with visible objects such as stars. Mr. Nordby is the chief mechanical officer for the LSST digital camera at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (formerly Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), a federally funded lab in California that is one of the collaborators on this project. SLAC is responsible for designing and fabricating the digital camera for the LSST, said to be the largest digital camera ever constructed. Unlike other telescope STEPHANIE HENDRIXSON | ASSOCIATE EDITOR This artist's rendering shows the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and its facility as it will look once completed. The telescope will be able to survey the entire southern sky once every other night, and capture what it sees with the world's largest digital camera. Image: LSST Project/NSF/AURA

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