OPTICAM: A triple-camera optical system designed to explore the fastest timescales in Astronomy

Castro, A.; Altamirano, D.; Michel, R.; Gandhi, P.; Hernández Santisteban, J. V.; Echevarría, J.; Tejada, C.; Knigge, C.; Sierra, G.; Colorado, E.; Hernández-Landa, J.; Whiter, D.; Middleton, M.; García, B.; Guisa, G.; Castro-Segura, N.
Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica Vol. 55, pp. 363-376 (2019).


We report the development of a high-time resolution, 3-colour, simultaneous optical imaging system for the 2.1 m telescope in the San Pedro Mártir Observatory, México. OPTICAM will be equipped with three 2,048×2,048 pixel Andor Zyla 4.2-Plus sCMOS cameras and a set of SDSS filters allowing optical coverage in the 320-1,100 nm range. OPTICAM will nominally allow sub-second exposures. Given its instrumental design, a wide range of fast-variability astrophysical sources can be targeted with OPTICAM including X-ray binaries, pulsating white dwarfs, accreting compact objects, eclipsing binaries and exoplanets. OPTICAM observations will be proprietary for only six months and will then be made publicly available to the astronomical community.