ULTRACAM operations

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

ULTRACAM is a digital camera capable of taking (and storing) up to 500 red, green and blue images per second. The instrument was built in just under 3 years by a consortium from the Universities of Sheffield, Warwick and the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh, using a £300,000 grant awarded by PPARC. ULTRACAM saw 'first light' on 16 May 2002 on the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope (WHT) on La Palma, and first light on the 8.2-m Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile on 4 May 2005. To date, ULTRACAM has been awarded a total of 92 nights of time on these telescopes for projects as varied as white dwarfs, brown dwarfs, asteroseismology, pulsars, black-hole/neutron-star X-ray binaries, eclipsing binary stars, gamma-ray bursts, cataclysmic variables, extrasolar planets, active galactic nuclei, Kuiper Belt objects and Saturn's moon Titan. This grant proposal requests funding for the proper maintenance and operation of ULTRACAM, as well as a modest programme of minor upgrades, thereby ensuring that ULTRACAM maintains its position as the world's premier instrument for high-speed optical astrophysics. As well as maximising the return on PPARC's original investment, this money will also allow us to continue to offer ULTRACAM to others in the UK and astronomical community who wish to use it.

Publications

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Aerts C (2006) High-speed colourimetry of the subdwarf B star SDSS J171722.08+58055.8 with ULTRACAM in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Barros S (2007) ULTRACAM photometry of the ultracompact binaries V407 Vul and HM Cnc in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Bento J (2014) Optical transmission photometry of the highly inflated exoplanet WASP-17b? in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Burleigh M (2006) The nature of the close magnetic white dwarf + probable brown dwarf binary SDSS J121209.31+013627.7* in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Copperwheat C (2009) ULTRACAM observations of two accreting white dwarf pulsators in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Copperwheat C (2013) Transmission photometry of WASP-12b: simultaneous measurement of the planetary radius in three bands in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Dhillon V (2009) Optical pulsations from the anomalous X-ray pulsar 1E 1048.1-5937 in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

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Dhillon V (2006) A search for optical bursts from the rotating radio transient J1819-1458 with ULTRACAM in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society