Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades Gobierno de Canarias Universidad de La Laguna CSIC Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa

Infrastructures and resources

Electronics Department

LISA Laboratory

The Laboratory of Imaging Sensors for Astronomy occupies about 50 m2 of dedicated laboratory space in the IAC's Instrumentation Division. Among the facilities of the laboratory are compressed air, air conditioning, external refrigeration for large volume heat exchange, monophase and triphase power supplies, UPS, and general-purpose equipment. Access to the laboratory is limited through the use of temporary electronic personal codes
(which must be applied for from the appropriate authority). LISA is available for both internal IAC users and those from other institutions.

At present, LISA operates in four wavelength ranges:

  • Visible light
  • Near-infrared light (SWIR): < 1.6 microns
  • Mid-infrared light (MWIR): 1 - 2.5 - 5 microns
  • Far-infrared light (LWIR): 8-14 microns

Visible Range: Example of the Characterization of a CCD

The following is a summary of the typical characterization procedure for
a CCD.

Standard parameters and figures of merit (for CCDs):

  1. Conversion Factor (CF) in [e-/ADU]
  2. Readout noise (RON): in [e-]
  3. Bias in [ADU]
  4. Linearity curve in [% deviation]
  5. Saturation levels (image area, serial register) in [e-]
  6. Charge transfer efficiency (image area (CTE_V), serial register (CTE_H))
  7. Quantum efficiency (QE) in [%]
  8. Non-uniformity of pixel response (PRNU) in [%]
  9. Fringing [p-v]
  10. Dark current in [e-/pixel/s]
  11. Non-uniformity of dark current (DSNU) in [%]
  12. Cosmetics (dark and white defects, points and columns, traps)

L3CCD parameters (equivalent to EMCCDs):

  1. Gain factor
  2. Extra noise (factor sqrt(2))
  3. Clock-induced charge (CIC) in [e-/pixel/frame]

  Above: Examples of the characterization of CCDs using PCB prototypes, both rigid and flexible. An LPKF etching machine is available for fabricating simple double-faced cards.

Below: LISA tests of CCD cameras that have already been integrated by the manufacturer.


General LISA Equipment:

Partial list:

  • Light/Radiation Sources:
    • Arc lamp (flux control estabilized) : Xenon and Hg from Newport
    • QTH lamp (flux control estabilized) from Newport
    • Black Body Cavity: high temperature from HGH: RCN-900 from HGH Infrarouges Systems
    • Black Body Plate: cold (up to -40ºC) from HGH: DCN-1000 from HGH Infrarouges Systems
  • Shutters:
    • Vincent / Uniblitz: 90mm diameter
    • Vincent / Uniblitz: One inch diameter
  • Aperture wheel (motorized)
  • Narrow-band filter wheels (motorized; up to 14 position / wavelengths from 350 up to 950nm. From Andover)
  • Calibrated photodiodes (from Hamamatsu)
  • Integrating spheres (from Labsphere)
  • Pico and femto amperímetros (Keithley 6485 and Keysight B2980A)
  • Vibraplane optical table from Kinetic Systems


  • Large general-purpose infrared cryostat (CIRCO) from Vacuum Projects, including Leybold Closed Cycle Coolers.
  • General Purpose Cryostat from Infrared Labs (modified for visible and infrared), including a Leybold Closed Cycle Cooler.
  • General Purpose ARC Generation III detectors controller (with options on cards for up to four channels for the visible and 32 for the infrared)
  • Temperature Control based on Lakeshore-332 unit
  • Temperature Sensors (Pt-100 and Si-diode) calibrated from Lakeshore
  • Temperature Monitor (8-channel) based on Lakeshore-218 units.
  • Vacuum PKR sensors from Pfeiffer.
  • Vacuum TPG readout units from Pfeiffer.
  • Turbo Pump Hi-Cube from Pfeiffer (other ones available at IAC)

Control (to be completed):

  • Test Bench Control under W’8 PC:
    • Protocols: Ethernet, GigE, FireWire, RS232/RS485 Serial, USB2 and 3; Camera Link. Others under request.
    • GUI: NI-LabVIEW based. Próxima actualización a Python
    • Data reduction: routines running Matlab, IDL and Python available. Custom.
  • Detector cryostat Control:
    • JAVA –based OWL ARC interface for image data acquisition.
    • Temperature and Vacuum Control: NI-LabVIEW based

Incomplete list of characterized detectors and cameras:

Algunos ejemplos de dispositivos caracterizados en el laboratorio LISA:

  • CCDs and CMOS (general imaging visible range):
    • From E2V: E2V-231-84 (4k x 4k, integrated into SI-1100 camera system); E2V-42-90 (2k x 2k, integrated into SI-600 camera system); E2V-4482 (2k x 4k, using ARC-gen II and III detectors controller)
    • From Fairchild Imaging: CCD-486 (4k x 4k, integrated into SI-600 camera system)
    • Pulnix-JAI general purpose cameras
    • Basler general purpose cameras
    • PCO general purpose cameras
    • Hamamatsu general purpose cameras
    • NEOs sCMOS ANDOR camera system
    • Others
  • EM-CCDs (for lucky imaging and Adaptive Optics WFS applications):
    • From Hamamatsu systems, including E2V chip
    • From ANDOR systems, including E2V chips in iXON EMCCD Camera Series: 128 x 128 (CCD60); 512 x 512 (CCD97) and 1024 x 1024 (CCD201-20) models.
    • From FIRST-Light systems, including the new CCD220 (240x240, 1300fps) sensor in the OCAM2 cameras
    • Otros
  • InGaAs detectors (< 1.6 microns)
    • Xenics XEVA cameras (large format)
    • Xenics Ethernet cameras (small formato)
    • Others
  • HgCdTe and InSb detectors (1 - 2.5 - 5 microns)
    • 256x256 Cincinnati Electronics array
    • 256x256 NICMOS Teledyne / Rockwell infrared array
    • 1k x 1k HAWAII Teledyne / Rockwell infrared array
    • 2k x 2k HAWAII-PACE Teledyne / Rockwell infrared arrays
    • SIDECAR Teledyne / Rockwell infrared array - (ASIC) for RG sensors
    • Others
  • Microbolometers (8 - 14 microns; thermal infrared range)
    • ULIS (Sofradir) 640 x 480 microbolometer array
    • INO Camera System, ULIS based
    • FLIR cameras, general purpose
    • Others

Above: LISA tests on visible bench of both EMCCDs and large format CCDs.

Below: Mosaic prototype to be used in the OSIRIS instrument, including ARC controller

Bottom left: Test cryostat for CCD and infrared detectors, with 90 mm diameter shutter.

Bottom right: Manipulation of CCDs in LISA class 100 horizontal laminar flux cabinet.

Above: Warm testing of an MCT 2k x 2k detector (left) and cool testing of the same (right).

Below: Insides of an infrared test cryostat, with filter wheel and baffling. Right: detail
of a fanout with the MCT detector of the EMIR instrument.

Above: 1.6 micron (InGaAs) camera being tested in LISA's Climate Chamber.

Below: Testing of a microbolometric detector/camera in the thermal infrared (8-14 microns)

Photgraphic Gallery:

Above and below: General views of LISA, showing the main control panel and the visible bench.

Details of the the visible bench, with CCD cameras under test.

Above: General use cryostat for CCD and infrared detectors.

Large infrared cryostat, interior and exterior.

Additional Equipment:

  Class 100 horizontal flux cabinet, with microscope.

The IAC Climate Chamber - LISA

LPKF etching machine for PCB prototypes: design, fabrication, assembly, and characterization of a CCD in a test cryostat


To use LISA send an email to José Javier Díaz and/or Enrique Joven

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