PANIC Project

PANIC is the new PAnoramic Near-Infrared Camera for the 2.2m telescope on Calar Alto Observatory. The project started in September 2006. It is a joint project between MPIA (Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie ) and IAA (Instituto de Astronomia de Andalucia in Granada).

The aim of the project is to build a wide-field general purpose NIR camera. Of course it will be very well suited for surveys.

With its focal plane array of 2x2 HAWAII2-RG detectors it covers a 30x30 arcmin field-of-view and it has a pixel scale of 0.45 arcsec/pixel. The cryogenic optics has three flat folding mirrors with diameters up to 270 mm and eight lenses with diameters between 115 mm and 250 mm. A compact filter unit can carry up to 19 filters distributed over four filter wheels. The wheels have cryogenic stepper motors.
The instrument has a diameter of 1.1 m and it is about 1 m long. Since the there is a weight limit of only 400 kg at the 2.2 m telescope, a lightweight cryostat design is necessary. The aluminium vacuum vessel and radiation shield have wall thicknesses of only 6 mm and 3 mm respectively. Cooling is done by liquid nitrogen.


PANIC in a Nutshell
Telescope Cassegrain 2.2m Calar Alto
F Ratio f/8
Field of view 30' x 30'
Direct Imagin Over the whole FOV
Pixel scale 0.45 arcsec/pixel
Detector 2 x 2 mosaic of 4 Hawaii-2 RG
Gap between detectors 167 pìxels
Filling factor 98%
Wavelength range 0.95– 2.45 mm with IQ
0.82-0.95 mm able to transmit
Filters Broad band ZYJHK
Narrow band: ~1%
Intrinsic image quality EE80 <= 2 pixels = 0.9 arcsec=36 mm
Pupil Image available Cold stop
Geometrical distortions <= 1.5%
Operating temperature 80K (liquid nitrogen)
Data format FITS


PANIC Collaboration

PANIC is a collaborative effort of these institutions: MPG-MPIA, CSIC-IAA, CAHA