Skip to main content

The IRCAM Revolution

  • Conference paper
  • First Online:
Thirty Years of Astronomical Discovery with UKIRT

Part of the book series: Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings ((ASSSP,volume 37))

  • 473 Accesses

Abstract

The advent of infrared “array” detectors in the mid-1980s completely changed the way infrared astronomy was done. The UK Infrared Telescope and the Royal Observatory Edinburgh played significant roles in this revolutionary development. From 1984 to 1986, I was involved in the development of IRCAM, the first common-user infrared camera for the 1–5 μm region to use a solid-state imaging device developed specifically for ground-based astronomy. Although that first 58 × 62 pixel array is small by today’s standards, that remarkable little device, and its exploitation on the 3.8 m telescope, opened the flood gates and resulted in exponential growth for infrared astronomy. This article recounts some of the story behind the development and deployment of IRCAM.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Becklin, E.E., Neugebauer, G.: Infrared observations of the Galactic Center. Astrophys. J. 151, 145–161 (1968)

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Kleinmann, D.E., Low, F.J.: Observations of infrared galaxies. Astrophys. J. 159, L165–L172 (1970)

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • McLean, I.S.: Electronic imaging in astronomy, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg/New York (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  • Wynn-Williams, C.G., Becklin, E.E. (eds.): Infrared astronomy with arrays. The Institute of Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu (1987)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

It is a pleasure to acknowledge Tim Chuter and the entire IRCAM team at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh and at UKIRT, as well as Mark McCaughrean and John Rayner. The IRCAM revolution could never have happened without this wonderful team. It is also a pleasure to acknowledge the late Donald Pettie for his personal support and encouragement.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ian S. McLean .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

About this paper

Cite this paper

McLean, I.S. (2013). The IRCAM Revolution. In: Adamson, A., Davies, J., Robson, I. (eds) Thirty Years of Astronomical Discovery with UKIRT. Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings, vol 37. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7432-2_3

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics