Over the past a few months, the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration reached several major milestones paving the way for the upcoming survey in the Fall of 2012. The DECam imager arrived at CTIO on Nov. 23 and has been readout successfully in the cold room of the Blanco Telescope on Dec. 6. Preliminary tests show that the imager performs almost the same as it did in Fermilab, which signifies both the imager and its supporting systems, such as the cooling, electronics, instrument control, software system, are all working properly after a long journey from Fermilab to Chile. In addition to the imager, the other major components of the DECam such as the filter changer, shutter, hexapod, lens barrel and cage, are all successfully assembled and tested at CTIO. Four of the five filters are now in CTIO and the corrector lens also arrived at CTIO safely on Dec. 16. Installation of the DECam system on the telescope will start in FEB. 2012, and our survey will start in the Fall. It’s just around the corner!
– Jiangang Hao