UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics


INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL)

Building the Optical Monitor Camera (OMC), the instrument dedicated to simultaneous optical monitoring of the objects being observed by Integral's two gamma-ray instruments and x-ray monitor.

An artist's impression of the INTEGRAL spacecraft

27 May 2009

An artist's impression of the INTEGRAL spacecraft.  At the front is the SPI instrument with its circular coded mask and behind the square mask of the IBIS instrument.  JEM-X, the X-ray monitor, is located between these two instruments with the OMC (Optical Monitoring Camera) to the side. (Image credit ESA).

OMC is a refracting telescope with a field-of-view of ~5 degrees and a cooled 1024 x 1024 pixel CCD in the focal plane, capable of imaging down to m~19.

MSSL's contributions are :-

  • Managing the CCD procurement
  • Characterisation of CCDs
  • Design, fabrication and testing of readout electronics (ROE) consisting of clock sequencer, bias supplies, analogue electronics including correlated double sampler, ADC and digital interface to data processing electronics, power switching
  • Design, fabrication and testing of a PC-based EGSE to run the ROE and acquire, display and analyse the digital images for ground testing

The CCD is a Marconi CCD47-20 back-illuminated frame transfer device with a 1024 x 1024 pixel image area, on a custom invar plate mount. 
The readout electronics are capable of running at 328 Kpixels/s with a readout noise of ~5e- RMS.