MuSCAT3

Update April 27th 2020: As many projects, MuSCAT 3 is affected by the global COVID-19 shutdown. All hardware was delivered to the MuSCAT team, but the assembly of MuSCAT 3 has to wait until the facilities at the University of Tokyo are available again. The installation at the 2 meter telescope in Hawaii will depend on our ability to travel safely. In the meantime, we are moving forward with other aspects of the project, such as software development, site preparation, and planning of commissioning.


MuSCAT3 (Multicolor Simultaneous Camera for studying Atmospheres of Transiting exoplanets) will be a four channel simultaneous imager on LCO's 2-meter telescope (FTN) at Haleakala Observatory. It will replace the Spectral imager. MuSCAT3 will be installed in Q2 2020 and will be released for science use in Q3 2020. MuSCAT3 will be the third instrument in a series of multi-channel imagers designed and constructed by the Astrobiology Center in Tokyo (Japan). The P.I. is Norio Narita.

Observing in four channels at once will dramatically improve the effective throughput of the telescope, benefiting all science observations. For some science programs, e.g., following-up exoplanet transit observations, there are specific benefits to obtaining truly simultaneous observations in multiple passbands.

The baseline properties of MuSCAT3 will be:

  • Passbands: SDSS g' r' i' zs'. The filters are fixed; there is no filter wheel.
  • Cameras: Princeton Instruments Pixis 2048B, 2 x Pixis 2048_eX, Sophia 2048BR
  • Readout modes: simple imaging and asynchronous time series. The exposure time can be defined per channel.
  • Readout time: TBD. The expectation is 5-10 seconds.
  • Field of view: ~9.1' x 9.1'
  • Pixel scale: 0.27" / pixel
  • Readnoise: 7-12 e-
  • Sensitivity: ~70% of the Spectral camera. A factor of 0.7 should be used to scale the results of the Exposure Time Calculator.
  • Fully robotic operations in the LCO network.

The goal is to eventually deploy (pending funding) a MuSCAT4 for the 2-meter telescope (FTS) at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.


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Additional Information

The SPIE paper describing the original MuSCAT at Okayama Observatory.

The SPIE paper describing MuSCAT2 on the TCS at Teide Observatory.

Please direct questions to: science-support@lco.global