Mitsubishi Electric Helps Upgrade Subaru Telescope Observation System
Succeeds in trial of new observation instrument
TOKYO -- July 31, 2013
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO:6503) announced today it has delivered
the Prime Focus Unit, a major component for the prime focus camera, the Hyper
Suprime-Cam (HSC), that has been newly installed in the Subaru Telescope on
the Big Island of Hawaii. The National Astronomical Observatory Japan (NAOJ)
of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences received the Prime Focus Unit
from Mitsubishi Electric this month.
Also today, NAOJ released a set of breathtaking images of the universe taken
with the HSC and Prime Focus Unit fitted provisionally to the Subaru
The HSC’s unprecedented upgrade with the Prime Focus Unit will enable the
Subaru Telescope to observe dark energy and dark matter with world-leading
accuracy. Astronomists are actively trying to determine the characteristics of
dark matter and dark energy, which comprise 90 percent of the universe and are
considered crucial to understanding the origin and evolution of the universe.
The Subaru Telescope, which has an 8.2-meter diameter primary mirror, is noted
for its high-quality wide-field observations. The new HSC realizes a field
that is about seven times wider than the previous prime focus camera, the
Suprime-Cam, but still maintains high-resolution images.
Mitsubishi Electric’s Prime Focus Unit helps to accurately maneuver the camera
and wide-field corrector lens, which together weigh about 2.2 tons. The unit’s
six actuators are capable of large load bearing and very high precision,
enabling the lens and camera to be accurately positioned relative to the
telescope’s primary mirror with micro-meter precision and extremely smooth
motion to continuously compensate for the effects of gravity deflection. The
instrument rotator’s drive mechanism rotates the camera on an optical axis
with smooth precision to ensure that the camera is always aligned with the
diurnal rotation of the sky.
Mitsubishi Electric managed construction of the Subaru Telescope, the world’s
largest optical-infrared telescope, which is located at the summit of the
4,200-meter Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The company’s revolutionary temperature
control system with ellipse dome reduces atmospheric blurring. Its 261
actuators maintain the 8.2-meter wide, 20-cm thick mirror in perfect shape.
Mitsubishi Electric’s advanced technologies help realize the world’s highest
level of performance in the Subaru Telescope.
Mitsubishi Electric aims to continue contributing to astronomy through the
manufacture of large radio telescopes, optic telescopes featuring
high-precision control systems, and antenna technologies.
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About Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
With over 90 years of experience in providing reliable, high-quality products,
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) is a recognized world leader in
the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment
used in information processing and communications, space development and
satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy,
transportation and building equipment. Embracing the spirit of its corporate
statement, Changes for the Better, and its environmental statement, Eco
Changes, Mitsubishi Electric endeavors to be a global, leading green company,
enriching society with technology. The company recorded consolidated group
sales of 3,567.1 billion yen (US$ 37.9 billion*) in the fiscal year ended
March 31, 2013. For more information visit http://www.MitsubishiElectric.com
*At an exchange rate of 94 yen to the US dollar, the rate given by the Tokyo
Foreign Exchange Market on March 31, 2013
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Business Development, Ground Systems & Telescope Programs Section
Space Systems Division
Taichi Hamamoto, +81-3-3218-2834
Public Relations Division
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